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'Plane disrupted on impact,' says air accident inspector



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Warning: some readers may find some of the images from the report disturbing.

TWO pilots whose plane went missing over the English Channel crashed into the sea after flying into cloud, air accident investigators have revealed.

The Air Accidents Investigation Branch has published a special bulletin concerning the loss of Piper Cherokee Arrow II (G-EGVA) which saw two much-loved family men lose their lives.

Lee Rogers and Brian Statham were in one of seven aircraft flying from Wellesbourne Mountford Airfield to Le Touquet in France on the morning of Saturday, 2nd April, when the plane lost contact before crashing into the English Channel.

One of the pilots livestreamed from the cockpit during the flight - cumulus cloud is seen on the horizon
One of the pilots livestreamed from the cockpit during the flight - cumulus cloud is seen on the horizon

The initial AAIB report has found that G-EGVA crashed after flying into cloud which neither pilot on board held the right qualifications to fly in.

Investigators revealed that both pilots were only qualified to fly under ‘visual flight rules’, which means that they have to be able to see what was in front of them.

The bulletin published last Friday (13th May) said: “As they approached the middle of the Channel, one of the pilots of G-EGVA, which was operating under Visual Flight Rules (VFR), reported to London Information that they were in cloud. Neither of the pilots onboard was qualified to fly in cloud. Shortly after this transmission the aircraft disappeared from radar.



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