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Investigators probe cause of tragic Redhill Aerodrome crash
7:00am Saturday 31st August 2013 in News
Air accident investigators are looking into the cause of a microlight plane crash at Redhill Aerodrome, which killed the pilot.
The man, who has not yet been named, died when the Rans S6 aircraft crashed at the end of the grass runway shortly after take-off.
He had been carrying out a number of take-off and landing manoevures, called circuits, when witnesses said the plane seemed to either lose power or stall.
The pilot, who was the only person onboard, died when it crashed nose-first into the ground.
He was pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics.
Fire crews from Reigate, Godstone and Dorking, a water carrier from Godstone, the aerodrome's Rescue and Fire Fighting Service, South East Coast Ambulance Service and the Environmental Protection Unit from Dorking went to the aerodrome at 12.30pm on Wednesday (August 28).
The airfield in Kings Mill Lane, South Nutfield, was closed, with flights diverted to Headcorn in Kent, while the emergency services went into action.
A team from the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) was also deployed.
The aerodrome was re-opened later in the day, and the wreckage of the microlight was removed and taken to the AAIB's Farnborough headquarters for examination.
A spokesman for the AAIB said it may be several months before the report into the cause of the tragedy is produced.
Redhill Aerodrome manager Philip Wright said the aircraft had been based there for several years and was operated by a small group of private pilots. Mr Wright said: "There was no mayday call, nor did the pilot report anything unusual to ATC - air traffic control.
"It had completed two circuits and was climbing away when it crashed within the boundary of the aerodrome."
He said: “The Aerodrome Rescue and Fire Fighting Service attended the scene, and they were supported by units from Surrey Police, National Police Air Service, Kent Surrey Sussex Air Ambulance, South East Coast Ambulance Service and Surrey Fire and Rescue. “Unfortunately the pilot sustained fatal injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics.”
He said: “At this time our thoughts are with the pilot, his family and friends.”
The crash came some eight months after a helicopter, which had taken off from the aerodrome, crashed into a crane in central London, killing the pilot and a pedestrian.