A FORMER trainee fighter pilot suing the Ministry of Defence for £1.7m following a training accident is facing an anxious wait for the outcome of his High Court case.
The case of Paul Hanks, of Shotwich Park, Seahill Road, Saughall, Chester, drew to a close amidst claims that injuries he suffered when an instructor pulled a 'high-G turn' during an August 2000 training flight wrecked his hopes of becoming a Royal Navy 'top gun'.
The MoD was found 85% responsible for the accident at an earlier hearing, but has disputed the amount of Mr Hanks' compensation.
Mr Hanks, who had dreamed of flying Sea Harrier jets but now works as a property developer, did not suffer injuries 'of the worst type', but is left with 'very real discomfort and pain on a daily basis', said his barrister, Simon King.
At the first hearing, a judge found that Mr Hanks' instructor - Flight Lieutenant Derek Sington - had taken over control of the Hawk jet during the training flight near Worcester, before executing a 'high-G turn' without warning.
MoD lawyers argue Mr Hanks' injuries were not caused by the manoeuvre.
But Mr King told Mr Justice Royce that Mr Hanks suffered an injury to his neck and, possibly, his thoracic spine when Flight Lieutenant Sington 'negligently performed an unnecessary and unexpected high-G manoeuvre'.
The barrister added: 'He is extremely limited, for example, in his ability to regularly sit or stand still for any length of time, and to use a computer keyboard or to sit and write. He is dependent on regular painkillers.
'He has been able, since his discharge from military service in 2004, to find work for himself on a self-employed basis, together with a business partner, in building contracting work and property development.'
Mr Hanks did obtain his pilot's wings after the incident, but was medically retired from the Navy in January 2004.
Mr Justice Royce last week reserved his decision on Mr Hanks' case and will now give his ruling at a later, unspecified, date.