Second Aircraft Lands Safely With Three Onboard
Two people were killed in a mid-air collision between two planes
near the village of Admaston, Staffordshire, England Sunday
Local media reports state a Luscombe Silvaire (file photo of
type, above) and a Pacific Aerospace 750XL collided at 1,800 feet.
The Luscombe impacted Blithfield Reservoir, near Rugeley,
Staffordshire; the PAC turboprop (type shown below) made a forced
landing, according to witnesses.
Investigators state the second aircraft had three people
onboard, and managed to land safely at East Midlands Airport about
25 miles away.
The bodies of the two victims in the Luscombe were removed from
the scene shortly after the accident.
The field, part of the land surrounding Rectory Farm, has been
sealed off. Special aviation investigators will carry out detailed
examination of the wreckage Monday morning.
The Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) is listed as the
lead agency in an investigation into the accident.
"It is too early to say exactly what caused the collision," said
Tim Atkinson, senior investigator. "Weather conditions were clear
and visibility was fine."
Richard Chamberlain, who heard the 750XL pilot's mayday call,
said the pilot did not know what he had collided with. "The pilot
reported he had hit something. He didn't know what it was but said
there was burning debris beneath him and he said he had lost part
of his undercarriage,” Chamberlain added.
"I saw the plane come into land-- I was literally about
100-yards away and had a clear view -- It was very unnerving
watching it come in," Chamberlain added. "It looked to have lost
two or three wheels. You could see the pilot was shocked, but he
stayed calm and it was a textbook landing."
"The plane was burning but almost burned out. I could see bodies
there but I could see there was nothing I could do. I came straight
back and rang 999,” said Farmer Michael Sargeant, 64, who was
the first person on the crash scene in Staffordshire.
Both aircraft were privately owned, and were reportedly
flight-seeing; neither was in contact with air traffic control when
"Aircraft do collide," said Atkinson. "Mid-air collisions are
mercifully very rare, a great deal of general aviation is done on
the principle that the pilot keeps a good look-out."