Fatal Caernarfon Airport plane crash in which father died on family trip was ‘probably caused by ice’

By Tryst Williams

A devoted father died in a light aircraft crash probably caused by ice, an inquest has heard.

Iain Nuttall, 37, a lorry driver, of Blackburn, died when a chartered Piper Cherokee piloted by his father John, 61, lost power on the descent into Caernarfon Airport as they travelled to North Wales for Sunday lunch.

Iain Nuttall

Iain Nuttall

The plane hit trees, nosedived into the ground just inside the airfield, and flipped over.

The dead man’s son Daniel, five, who was at the Caernarfon inquest for some of the hearing, received serious injuries as did John Nuttall.

Coroner Dewi Pritchard-Jones said: “The main cause of the crash is the icing of the carburettor and the failure of the pilot to probably appreciate that and apply carburettor heat to remove the icing.”

He recorded a conclusion of accidental death on Mr Nuttall who received a severe head injury.

The tragedy happened in May last year on a flight from Blackpool to Caernarfon.

John Nuttall said: “As I turned to face the runway the engine failed. The power stopped, it just went. I just couldn’t get the power back on.”

He said the power loss was “instantaneous”.

He saw the trees and had tried to gain height.

The coroner said the ice didn’t stop the single engine but reduced the flow of fuel into it.

An Air Accidents Investigation Branch report said: “Following the accident the pilot could not remember exactly when or for how long he had applied the carburettor heat, but the selector was found in the cold position.”

Sourced by Wales Online


Swansea light aircraft crash lands after bird strike

A light aircraft pilot has been forced to crash land near Swansea after hitting a flock of birds.

The pilot, who was alone in the plane, suffered slight concussion when the aircraft flipped over during the emergency landing at Grovesend.

South Wales Police said the man was a local farmer and took off and landed at his own airstrip, and had been taken to Morriston Hospital in Swansea.

The alarm was raised on Sunday shortly after 0700 GMT.

The Air Accident Investigation Branch is being informed of the incident.

Insp Andy Walbeoff of South Wales Police said the pilot had collided with a flock of birds after taking off.

“He had to make an emergency landing on his own private airstrip at Grovesend,” he said.

“On landing the aircraft flipped upside down. The pilot managed to exit the aircraft with only minor injuries and he went to hospital suffering from slight concussion.”

Insp Walbreoff said the pilot had intended on taking a leisure flight around the Gower.

Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service sent two fire engines from Gorseinon and Pontarddulais to the scene.

Sourced by BBC News


Norfolk helicopter crash: Four feared dead

Police officer at a roadblock near the helicopter crash sceneFour people are feared dead in a helicopter crash in a remote part of Norfolk.

The civilian aircraft with four people on board crashed in Gillingham, near Beccles, at about 19:30 GMT, police said.

Emergency services remain on scene and a cordon around the site is in place.

It is not known what caused the crash but witnesses reported fog in the area at the time and said the helicopter crashed very soon after taking off.

Police said they would not release further details of the victims until their next-of-kin had been informed.

The East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust said it was called at 19:45 to reports of a helicopter crash.

‘Big bang’

In a statement it said: “Sadly, it is believed that four people in the helicopter are believed to have died in the crash.

“Ambulance resources have now been stood down from the scene. Our thoughts are with the family and friends of those who have lost their lives tonight.”

Emergency service vehicles at the scene of the helicopter crash Emergency service vehicles remain at the scene hours after the crash

A spokesman for the Air Accidents Investigation Branch said it would be sending a team to investigate the crash site.

Gillingham is a small village in the south of Norfolk with a population of about 650.

James Avery, 34, from Great Yarmouth, said he was sitting on a bench drinking tea with a friend when he heard the helicopter take off.

He said: “I was outside McDonald’s in Beccles and heard the helicopter take off from across the road.

“It was flying low and no more than 30 seconds later I heard a big bang followed by the sound of the turbine engine quickly stopping.

“It was like a whistling sound.

“Me and a friend ran across the road to the field where we thought it may have crashed but with the heavy fog, we were unable to see much of anything.

“There were some guys on scooters who were already in the field. So we just went back to McDonald’s and got the attendant to ring the emergency services.”

‘Very foggy’

Taxi driver Mark Murray, 22, from Beccles, said: “There is a large stately home nearby and you often see helicopters coming and going from there.

“When they have a game shoot the guests often all arrive in separate helicopters. We don’t know if that is linked, but that’s the only helicopter activity we see in this area.”

Roland Bronk, owner of The Swan House inn and restaurant in Beccles, said it had been “very foggy” in the area.

The site of the crash is about 45 miles from where four crew members died when a US military helicopter crashed in Norfolk on a training mission in a nature reserve in Cley next the Sea, Norfolk, in January.

Sourced by BBC News


Clutha crash: Police helicopter suffered double engine failure

breaking newsA police helicopter which crashed on a busy pub in Glasgow last November suffered a double engine failure, investigators have found.

The Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) said the failures were apparently as a result of a fuel supply problem.

But it said the cause of the problem was still not clear.

The Eurocopter EC 135 helicopter came down on the Clutha Bar in the city centre on Friday 29 November.

All three people on board and six in the pub were killed. A tenth victim died in hospital two weeks later.

The AAIB said it was trying to establish why both engines “flamed out” when there was 76kg of fuel remaining.

It was also investigating why there was no Mayday call and why the aircraft was not able to make a controlled landing.

An eyewitness said the Police Scotland aircraft, which was operated by Bond Aviation, fell from the sky “like a stone”.

The pilot Dave Traill, had 26 years experience and had flown helicopters for the RAF in both Gulf Wars.

An initial report on the crash which was released on 9 December said there was “no evidence” of major engine or gearbox failure.

Shortly after that report Bond grounded the same model of helicopter because of a fuel gauge problem.

The helicopter had taken off at 20:45 with 400kg of fuel on board and was returning the base when it came down at 22:22.

The helicopter did not have a so-called black box data recorder.

Sourced by BBC News


Air-sea search after Pembrokeshire ‘plane crash’ reports

An air and sea search has been launched off Pembrokeshire’s north coast amid reports that a light aircraft may have crashed into the sea.

Milford Haven coastguards say residents in Trefin had reported a low flying aircraft overhead at around 19:10 GMT.

There were fears fast jets may have been involved but this has been discounted by the Ministry of Defence.

Coastguards have called out the rescue helicopter from RAF Chivenor as well as two all-weather RNLI lifeboats.

Coastguard rescue teams as well as police, the fire service and ambulances have been called to the area, which is midway between Fishguard and St Davids.

The RNLI has launched its all-weather lifeboats at Fishguard and St Davids.

“Heard it circling’

Sue Whitmore, who runs the Old School Hostel in Trefin, said she had heard what sounded like a light aircraft circling overhead.

She said: “I didn’t hear the bang. I heard it circling,” which she described as “very unusual especially at night”.

“A few minutes ago I heard a helicopter going over towards the sea and a lot of emergency vehicles have gone passed.”

She said other villagers had told her they had also heard an aircraft followed by a bang.

At the Ship Inn pub people report the emergency services have been searching an area between Trefin and St Nicholas.

“There are lot of emergency services,” said one bar worker.

Sourced from BBC Wales

Update: The search was later stood down as it is believed to have been a false alarm.


Asiana crash pilot ‘stressed’ due to faulty landing system

By Phil Davies

The pilot of an Asiana aircraft which crashed in San Francisco has said he was “stressed” about landing without the aid of a key guidance system.

The Boeing 777 aircraft flying from Seoul to San Francisco crashed on July 6 after it came in too low and hit a sea wall killing three passengers.

The information came as the US National Transportation Safety Board held a hearing on the crash.

Captain Lee Kang-kuk had only begun training to fly the 777 in February, logging just 35 hours. He had previously flown Airbus A320s for Asiana from 2005 until February, the BBC reported.

The crash took place on a clear day. But the instrument landing system – which informs pilots whether they are flying too high or low – at the San Francisco airport was not functioning at the time because of construction work.

According to documents made public by the NTSB, Captain Lee said he had been “very concerned” about his ability to land the 777 using a visual approach.

The first officer Bong Dong-won told investigators he realised the aircraft was rapidly descending. He said he initially did nothing, but then spoke up at least four times about the rapid descent.

Documents released also say that one of the passengers who died, Ye Mengyuan, 16, was hit twice by emergency vehicles on the airport tarmac, first by a fire rig spraying foam and then by a fire truck.

The Safety Board is still investigating the case, with NTSB chief Deborah Herman saying that they would “take as long as we need to complete the investigation”.

Sourced from Travel Weekly


Namibia search for Mozambique plane with 34 on board

Luanda airport, Angola (file image)A search is under way for a Mozambique Airlines (LAM) plane which is feared to have crashed in Namibia with 28 passengers and six crew on board.

Rescuers have been sent to the Bwabwata National Park in the north-east of the country – between Angola and Botswana.

Flight TM470 left Mozambique’s capital, Maputo, at 11:26 (09:26 GMT) on Friday and was due to arrive in the Angolan capital, Luanda, at 14:10.

The last contact made with the plane was when it was over northern Namibia.

The nationalities of those on board have not been confirmed.

Initially, the airline said there were signs it might have landed near Rundu.

“LAM airlines, aeronautical and airport authorities are trying to establish contact to confirm the information,” said the airline.

On Saturday, a police official involved with the search said villagers in the area had heard an explosion.

“Botswana officials informed us that they saw smoke in the air and they thought the crash happened in their country, but when they came to the border they realised that it was in Namibia,” Willie Bampton said.

He said the plane had not landed in the Rundu region.

The Bwabwata National Park in Namibia’s Kavango East region – covering around 6,100sq km (2,355 square miles) – is a sparsely-populated area of dense forests.

“The area is vast, and there are no roads and the park is bushy. So, it is very difficult to locate the scene,” Mr Bampton said.

Sourced by BBC News


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