Pilots died after plane crashed into trees in cloud

Bob Jones

A LIGHT aircraft that crashed, killing the pilot and an airport manager, struck cloud-covered trees on the upper slope of a mountain, an accident report said today.

The Piper PA commander, former commercial airline pilot Steve Carr, 55, of Ruthin, and Mid Wales airport manager Bob Jones, 60, of Welshpool, who was also a pilot, would have been aware of the proximity of Long Mountain in Powys, the report said.

But they “may have thought they had cleared the high ground”, the report from the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) added.

The report said it was unlikely that the pilots would have deliberately entered the cloud “but may have misjudged their height above it and inadvertently entered the top of the cloud, which was obscuring the trees”.

The aircraft struck the top of the trees on the upper slope of Long Mountain and crashed on the morning of January 18.

The accident happened near Mid Wales airport at Welshpool, which had been founded by Mr Jones.

Mr Jones, who was also a farmer, created a grass airstrip at his farm in Trehelig after gaining his pilot’s licence. In the late 1980s he sought planning permission and funding to allow a 600-metre runway and a hangar to be built on the land.

A flying club was established at the airport which is also used by the Wales Air Ambulance as its mid Wales base.

The airport has an annual air show which has now been named the Bob Jones Memorial Air Show.

He left a wife, Linda, and two sons. After the crash, they paid tribute to him saying: “He was a passionate pilot and was much respected in the mid Wales community and beyond.”

Mr Carr was a former RAF pilot and later flew for various airlines, including easyJet at Liverpool Airport.

After retiring, the dad-of-two daughters set up a music studio near Ruthin which he rented out to bands.

During his career he had flown Airbus A320s and Boeing 737s, and was carrying out the flight to re-familiarise himself with the Piper PA, which he had not flown since November 1998.

The Piper PA took off from Welshpool and was due to land back there.

Mr Carr left wife Tara, daughters Hannah and Phoebe, and stepsons Ben and Finlay.

A family tribute released after the tragedy said: “Our world is immeasurably poorer for the loss of Steve. He was loved, and will be missed, so much.”

Sourced by Daily Post

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