British Airways pilot (33 years old) died after falling unconscious on a mountain bike jump. Two riders found him lying at the bottom of the hill in remote woods.

  • Edward Brice Bennett was unconscious after a very steep jump.
  • His two-year old daughter was his first child. The wife, however, was expecting her second.
  • Pilot was enamored by downhill mountain biking in Covid lockdown
  • His death has been ruled accidental at Wiltshire and Swindon Coroner’s Court

An inquest heard that a British Airways pilot died when he crashed while downhill-mountain biking. He was discovered unconscious by his fellow riders at the base of’very steep dirt jump’.

Edward Brice-Bennett, 33, was found unconscious in a remote area of Wiltshire next to his £4,000 bicycle just weeks before his wife was due to give birth to their second child.

Pilot, who was attracted to the sport while locked down, died from internal bleeding 45 minutes after being taken to hospital.

An inquest into his death at Wiltshire and Swindon Coroner’s Court heard Mr Brice-Bennett was his ‘usual happy self’ when he left home early on June 2 to go riding alone at Tidworth Freeride Bike Park. 

Kate Brice Bennett, his wife, said to the Inquest that Edward loved mountain biking and was an active man. His personality was great and he loved his family.

‘He became interested in mountain biking during lockdown, and on the day he passed away he left our house to get there for around 10 o’clock.

Edward Brice-Bennett, a 33-year-old British Airways pilot, died in a downhill mountain biking crash in Wiltshire while his wife was six months' pregnant with their second child

British Airways pilot Edward Brice Bennett (33 years old) died while riding downhill in Wiltshire with his second child. His wife was 6 months pregnant.

“He went on his own. He wasn’t stressed out and was happy as usual.

Before Mr Brice Bennett began his training as a pilot in 2012, the couple met for the first time in 2010.

According to the court, he had been working at British Airways during his six-month pregnancy.

They also shared a 2-year-old girl named Illa.

He drove to the bike park from Swindon, where he was a member, before arriving at the park around 11:00.

A half an hour later, however, two brothers who were riding at the park spotted a 6-foot 2ins man lying on his back’ next to a Canyon Spectral bicycle on one the wooded tracks.

The bike, which typically costs around £4,000, was set in its highest gear.

Jacob Clothier stated in a statement to court, “We were going down a hill and noticed that there was a man on the ground, lying flat on his stomach, his helmet on, on his head.

I believe that he was breathing. His eyes looked open. As we both were panicking, I instructed my brother to get help.

“We were in an area of woods without a mobile signal.

“My brother was accompanied by a worker. He called an ambulance. He was to be placed in the recovery position.

‘I felt the man’s skin and it felt cold… He was given CPR by the worker, and the ambulance arrived to take over.

The court was told by a Wiltshire Police forensic vehicle inspector that all was operational after the accident, and there was no evidence of damage or impact to the bike.

An entrance to Tidworth Freeride Bike Park in Wiltshire, where Mr Brice-Bennett was found unconscious at the foot of a steep jump before dying at the scene

An entrance to Tidworth Freeride Bike Park in Wiltshire, where Mr Brice-Bennett was found unconscious at the foot of a steep jump before dying at the scene

Mr Brice-Bennett suffered injuries to his abdomen and head, which left ‘notable purple bruising’ below the rib cage, as well as cuts to his forearm.

PC Chris Venning described the location where Mr Brice Bennett was discovered. He said: “The area was a clearing within the woods with an accompanying dirt path.

“There was an extremely steep hill of dirt about 20 meters away, and I was informed that it was possible to jump.

Coroner Ian Singleton ruled the death accidental, saying: ‘The cause of Edward’s death was abdominal trauma and hemoperitoneum.

“At noon, he was seen lying on the ground and his helmet and bicycle were nearby. His injuries caused him to die at the spot. 

British Airways spokesperson said that they were deeply shocked by the news. Our thoughts are with Ed’s family and friends.’