An investigation is under way after a man died and two people, one of them a boy, were critically injured when a light aircraft crashed at Caernarfon Airport in Gwynedd.
Firefighters cut the man from the wreckage and he was pronounced dead at the scene of Sunday morning’s crash.
A man in his 60s suffered “serious multiple lower limb injuries” and the boy had head and abdomen injuries.
North Wales Police said the three are from a family in Lancashire.
The aircraft flipped onto its roof on a runway at Dinas Dinlle, and experts from the Department for Transport’s Air Accident Investigation Branch (AAIB) were sent to the scene on Sunday to start a preliminary inquiry.
Police are appealing for witnesses who saw the plane as it approached the runway to get in touch as the area is on the coast and is popular with visitors.
On Monday morning it remained where it crashed landed, with police still at the scene.
Witnesses say the Piper Cherokee single-engine aircraft appeared to clip trees as it approached the runway.
On Sunday, local cafe owner Dyfed Williams said: “We were preparing to open and there was a lot of activity with five fire engines, an ambulance and then the police [passing], and we realised it must have been something serious.
“A lot of local people came down to see what was going on and obviously we are thinking the worse.
“The airfield has been here since the Second World War and it’s now busy with pleasure trips and popular with small aircraft and microlights.”
Eight crews from North Wales Fire and Rescue Service were sent to the scene.
The Welsh Ambulance Service said the man in his 60s and the boy were taken to hospital at Ysbyty Gwynedd in Bangor while firefighters worked to free the trapped man.
The condition of the two injured people was described on Sunday as critical.
Anyone with any information relating to the incident is asked to contact North Wales Police on 101.
Alenia Aermacchi has lost its second of three pre-production prototypes of the M346 transonic trainer in a crash over the weekend.
The lone pilot ejected safely and no one on the ground was hurt.
Company officials declined to answer questions, but said in a statement that the cause is a “technical problem” that occurred about 20 min. after takeoff from Turin-Caselle airport.
The crash site is in Val Bormida, between the provinces of Cuneo and Savona, company officials say.
Alenia officials have established a technical commission to investigate the incident.
The first prototype aircraft, owned by the company, crashed in Dubai in November 2011 as it departed following the air show there. Company officials have not discussed the cause of that crash, but they say the issue is peculiar to the prototype and not adopted on production aircraft.
Meanwhile, deliveries have begun to the Italian air force, which is evaluating the aircraft. Sales have also been solidified with Singapore and Israel.
The incident comes at a poor time, though, as the U.S. Air Force is preparing to buy up to 350 jet trainers. The M346 is likely to compete against a team comprising BAE Systems and Northrop Grumman offering the Hawk, and Lockheed Martin/Korea Aerospace Industries offering the T-50. Boeing has also said it will design an aircraft to specifications for the competition.
Due to tight funding, the Air Force is not expected to begin the competition until after 2014.
US ‘Eagle Squadron’ pilot, made up solely of American airmen, hit the Valleys mountain after encountering low cloud in September 1941
The niece of a US pilot who died after hitting a Welsh mountainside during World War Two has made a poignant first visit to the crash site.
More than 70 years after Texas-born Early Willson was killed on the Rhigos mountain near Treherbert, Rhondda, Dolcie ‘Dana’ Ehlinger returned.
Dolcie hadn’t been born in September 1941 when her uncle Early, a member of the RAF’s 79 squadron based at Fairwood Common, Swansea, died.
He was based in the UK because he was a member of the so-called Eagle squadrons – made up solely of US pilots.
Early, who was used to the warm weather in the Lone Star state, had asked to join a squadron serving in a warmer climate and the 79th were due to transfer to India the following March.
Sadly, while returning from a training exercise over the Treherbert area he encountered cloud and found himself below the mountain tops in the Rhondda Valley heading north to Rhigos.
On seeing the mountainside loom up, Early pulled up his Hurricane aircraft too sharply to avoid a collision, but stalled the aircraft and hit the ground.
He died aged just 22.
News of the crash was sent back to his parents – a distraught Dolcie Willson and Robert Early senior.
Yesterday, on her visit to the landmark site in her family’s history, niece Dolcie, 71, who now lives in New Orleans, said: “I was born about seven months after the crash. It’s incredible.
“His mother or father, I don’t think they could accept it, or my mother. She was very close to her brother growing up.
“There was a picture and I would say: ‘Who’s that?’ They said: ‘It’s your uncle, he died in the war’.
“We weren’t in an era where people appreciated their history. They wouldn’t talk about it – I think it was too much emotion.
“All they received was a telegram, that was it and a letter from the war ministry several weeks later saying it was a nice funeral.”
Early’s body was not repatriated because it was not done for foreign pilots serving in the RAF and his is one of 24 Commonwealth war graves at St Hilary’s Church, Killay, Swansea. The family eventually visited the grave in 1956.
And it was spotted there by Iain Smith of Swansea, who emailed newspapers in San Antonio and went to the World War Two memorial in Washington where no record of Early could be found due to the fact he joined the RAF and not the US Air Force.
Eventually Iain raised the matter with Steve Jones, the author of book Fallen Flyers which details stories behind the many flying accidents in and around Gower, and Early’s family was located in the US.
The story of Early’s crash was not originally known in the area because it was heavily censored.
But one man who was there was an 11-year-old Len Pearce who heard the low-flying hurricane piloted by Early on his way home from school that Friday afternoon.
Shortly after he went to the crash site with some of his friends and saw the wrecked Hurricane on the mountainside. The pilot was beyond help.
The police then arrived and mounted a guard over the site.
Mr Pearce, now in his 80s, also revisited the site and met with Dolcie.
He said: “Today, I suppose I would be terribly shocked. At that time, it was an adventure – getting near the plane and getting some souvenir bullets.”
Eventually Early’s story has become known and Dolcie went onto write a biography about her uncle made up of letters he wrote to his mother from the age of 10 called “Letters From My Son”.
Dolcie said earlier in his life he had been a photographer with the Cotton Club in New York City and had written about Cab Calloway and Katherine Hepburn – including an alleged affair she was having with a pilot.
Now there are efforts to raise money for a plaque commemorating his story.
Author Mr Jones said: “We hope to get a plaque or small memorial to tell people what went on. Otherwise nobody knows down there in Treherbert.”
Dolcie added: “He got the bug. He loved to fly and in those days you were so free when you flew.”
A US military refuelling plane has crashed in northern Kyrgyzstan.
The US transit centre at Manas airport confirmed the KC-135 Stratotanker had come down. The status of its crew and cause of the crash were not known.
The plane disappeared off the radar near the village of Chaldovar, some 160km (100 miles) west of Manas and close to the border with Kazakhstan.
Witnesses said they saw an explosion and heard a boom, and that wreckage was scattered across a wide area.
“I was working with my father in the field, and I heard an explosion. When I looked up at the sky I saw the fire. When it was falling, the plane split into three pieces,” resident Sherikbek Turusbekov was quoted by the Associated Press as saying.
One local news agency, 24.kg, quoted witnesses as saying the plane had hit a high-voltage power transmission line before it crashed, and quoted a local official as saying the pilots had ejected from the plane. Neither report has been confirmed.
The wreckage is reported to be scattered across a wide area of mountainous terrain, which is hampering the rescue effort and investigation.
“Emergency services are on scene. The status of the crew is unknown,” the US transit centre said in a statement. It did not specify how many people were on board, but the KC-135 is thought to carry around three crew members.
It is not clear where the plane was heading but the transit centre at Manas International Airport outside Bishkek is used by the US military to maintain its operations in Afghanistan.
Seven crew members died when a US civilian Boeing 747 cargo plane crashed at Bagram airbase in Afghanistan on Monday.