Air crash inquest reaches final stages
THE INQUEST into the deaths of five people in an air crash on the approach to Coventry Airport four years ago has reached its final stages today (Friday).
The crash - in which the single-seater Rand KR-2 of Blackdown Man Brian Normington was in collision above Coombe Abbey with a Cessna 402C in which James Beagley, 34, of Broad Street, Warwick, was part of the four-strong crew - happened on Sunday August 17 2008.
At the inquest, which is tasking place at Warwickshire Justice Centre in Leamington, Air Accidents Investigation Branch senior inspector Geraint Herbert took a jury through the report into the accident which was published in December 2010.
Coroner Sean McGovern explained to the jury why they had not been given copies of the report earlier in proceedings.
Mr McGovern said: “It was important you did not see Mr Herbert’s conclusions so you could make up your own minds.”
The purpose of the report was to find recommendations to prevent a recurrence of accidents such as the one being investigated.
The investigation found that the main cause of the collision was that the respective pilots not see the other aircraft or did not see it in time to take effective avoiding action.
Contributing factors were that the likelihood of the crew of the Cessna being able to spot the Rand in time to carry out effective avoiding action was reduced by the small size of Mr Normington’s ‘kit plane’, its position relative to the larger aircraft and the high rate of closure between the two.
The report also says that insufficient and inaccurate information was provided to both pilots which did not assist them to avoid the collision, that the aerodrome controller’s sequencing plan - based on an incomplete understanding of the nature of the Cessna’s flight - was unlikely to have been successful and there were no effective measures in place to give the larger aircraft priority over traffic in the visual circuit.
Pliot Sophie Hastings, 28, from Woodville in Derbyshire, Sybille Gautrey, 33, of Towcester in Northamptonshire and John ‘Harvey’ Antrobus, 28, of Fillongley, were also among those who died after Mr Normington’s plane hit the Cessna side on in a collision with an impact speed of about 106 knots or about 120mph.
The Cessna crew were carrying out instrument landing system calibration training for Reconnaissance Ventures Limited (RVL) based at Coventry Airport.
During the inquest the jury has heard evidence from eye witnesses, air traffic controllers, safety and medical experts and the group managing director for RVL.
The jury is expected to return its verdict on Monday.
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