News Plane Crashes — 18 November 2017

The plane that collided with a helicopter leaving four people dead today had crashed before at an airfield in Cornwall, it has emerged.

Four people have died in the mid-air collision, crash scene investigators have said.

Both of the aircraft are understood to have come from Wycombe Air Park and collided near the village of Waddesdon, in Buckinghamshire, shortly after midday.

Superintendent Rebecca Mears of Thames Valley said on Friday evening the aircraft were carrying two people each.

She said she could not give any details of the identity or the genders of the victims at this stage and her “first priority” at this stage was the next of kin.

The two aircraft came down close to – but not in – the famous Waddesdon Estate, the former country seat of the Rothschild banking dynasty.

The plane involved was a Cessna 152, built in 1982 and owned by Airways Aero Associations which is based at the Wycombe Air Park.

Aerial footage shows approximately where the crash happened

Aerial footage shows approximately where the crash happened

It had flown almost 14,000 hours as of May and had previously suffered substantial damage to its landing gear, propeller and engine following a crash at a Cornish airfield in 1993. It happened as it was taking off at Bodmin airfield in July of that year.

An archived report by the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) shows the pilot admitted the accident was caused by his “misjudgement and lack of experience”.

The crash occurred about 20 miles from the airfield.

A police forensics tent has been set up

A police forensics tent has been set up

Ms Mears said: “Our priorities today remain with investigating the next of kin, finding out who they are, informing them and supporting them with specialist officers as we progress the investigation here on site.

“Our priority has to be with the next of kin, speaking to them and letting them know.

“We anticipate being here until about Monday morning, potentially longer, we do not rush these things, it’s really important we do a meticulous investigation and really thorough to get to the bottom of what’s happened here.”

Police said there were two people on board both aircraft, and it was “too early to tell” what might have caused the crash.

A Notice to Airmen was previously issued to warn pilots the Wycombe Air Park’s air traffic control services would be closed during three 30-minute periods on selected days between November 7-30 due to a “staff shortage”.

The crash occurred around half an hour after the latest closure was due to end.

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What do we know so far about the fatal mid-air collision?

Four people have been killed following a mid-air collision between a helicopter and a light aircraft on Friday. Here is what we know so far.
The collision involved a helicopter and a two-seater plane both flying out of the Wycombe Air Park in Buckinghamshire.
The two aircraft were carrying two people each.
Investigators have refused to release details of the gender or identity of the victims, saying their first priority is finding and informing the next-of-kin.
Crash site investigators are expected to be deployed at the scene until at least Monday to try and determine the cause of the accident.
The plane was a Cessna 152 with capacity for a pilot and one passenger. Built in 1982, the plane sustained substantial damage during a previous crash in 1993 in a Cornish airfield.
The collision took place close to the village of Waddesdon, about 20 miles from the Wycombe Air Park, at 12:06pm.
Wycombe Air Park, also known as the Booker Airfield, offers training to rookie pilots.

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