Colleagues Rally For Paralyzed Canadian Flight Instructor

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Friends and colleagues of a Vancouver Island flight instructor paralyzed in a training accident are rallying around her trying to ensure she achieves a new dream of somehow continuing to work in aviation. Kristen Ursel, an instructor at the Victoria Flying Club, was with a student in January when their 172 clipped powerlines after a touch and go and ended up in brush at the end of the runway at the Duncan, B.C. Airport. News reports at the time noted she was trapped in the wreckage for two hours in a “complicated rescue” because of the live power lines and that she was taken to the hospital. Her complicated recovery is now the object of a GoFundMe campaign with a goal of $100,000 to get her from her hospital bed to a new role in aviation.

Ursel, who is also a single mother, broke her neck in the crash and was left with limited use of her arms and hands. She is currently in the G.F. Strong Rehabilitation Center in Vancouver where her friends report that her resolve to return to aviation is guiding her recovery. “Kristen is determined to one day return to work wherever she can in the aviation industry,” says the GoFundMe description. While her direct medical expenses are covered, there will be numerous additional costs to cover on her way back and the campaign is aimed at those expenses.

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