200 say farewell to 999 pilot

PUBLISHED: 12:39 06 November 2008 | UPDATED: 09:57 10 June 2010

MORE than 200 mourners were at the funeral of the Exmouth Air Ambulance pilot who died in a motorcycle accident. Devon Air Ambulance helicopters paid tribute to Captain Stephen Ford, of Bradham Lane, with a flypast, and 60 motorcyclists followed the funer

MORE than 200 mourners were at the funeral of the Exmouth Air Ambulance pilot who died in a motorcycle accident.Devon Air Ambulance helicopters paid tribute to Captain Stephen Ford, of Bradham Lane, with a flypast, and 60 motorcyclists followed the funeral procession to Exeter and Devon Crematorium.The 52-year-old pilot died on Saturday, October 18, when his motorcycle veered off the B3193, near Doddiscombsleigh, and landed on the roof of a house.Captain Ford had a long career in the army serving two tours in Northern Ireland and was honoured with a mention in Dispatches for his bravery at the Warrenpoint IRA bombings in 1979.His brother, Paul Ford, said in a statement: "He was a rock to me and our younger brother Mike, someone you could always rely on in a crisis, and a damn good friend to boot. "This is a terribly difficult time as you can imagine, but it is what we have learned from Steve that is actually enabling us to get through this."After leaving the army 10 years ago he became a front-line pilot for Devon Air Ambulance, a post he called 'his spiritual home'.Tributes have continued to pour in for the motorcyclist.Lysianne, Mark and Thomas said on the Journal tributes page: "We would like to pass on our deepest condolences to Julia and family. "Our thoughts are with you at this very sad time. "He was a very special person and will be greatly missed by all that knew him."Donations in lieu of flowers are going to the Devon Air Ambulance Trust and Hospiscare.

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