Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Welshpool crash: Mid Wales Airport manager named among two dead

Bob Jones was one of the founders of Mid Wales Airport in the early 1990s

One of the two people killed after a light aircraft crashed into a Powys mountain has been named locally as the manager of Mid Wales Airport.

Bob Jones died when the aircraft came down on Long Mountain in Leighton, close to Welshpool, on Wednesday.

Mr Jones, who was also a farmer, was one of the founders of Mid Wales Airport, near Welshpool, which was built on his land in the early 1990s.

The Air Accident Investigation Branch (AAIB) is investigating.

Dyfed-Powys Police were called to the crash scene at about 12:00 GMT.

Mid Wales Airport would not comment, but it closed for the day after the tragedy.

The airport was developed from a grass airstrip in 1990 to act as a base for companies operating aircraft in the area.

The airport functions both as a business airport, and for general aviation.

I was outside in the field and saw some smoke but didn't think anything of it”

Bryan Morris Farmer

Mr Jones was a well-known local businessman and farmed a few hundred metres away from the airport.

Following the air crash, Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service sent three engines to the scene, and police and the Welsh Ambulance Service were also there.

"This incident involved a light aircraft which has come down on Long Mountain," said Ch Insp Martin Tavener of Dyfed-Powys Police.

"We have now located next of kin and a family liaison officer has been appointed.

"The Air Accident Investigation Branch are en route to the scene and will take on the investigation from here."

A fire service spokesperson said: "Two appliances from Welshpool, one appliance from Llanfair Caereinion, and a Land Rover pump from Llanfyllin have attended the incident.

"Two breathing apparatus sets have been in use, and a low pressure hose reel jet."

Montgomery MP Glyn Davies said it was a "terrible tragedy".
'Broken up'

Local farmer Bryan Morris, 38, said the plane crashed into a field around a mile from his house.

He said: "Part of it is in the field and part of it is in the woods so it's obviously broken up quite a bit. I haven't been over there myself as I didn't want to get in the way.

"There's still a van and a couple of other vehicles over there but that's nothing compared to earlier."

Mr Morris said he did not see or hear the crash, even though he was outside at the time.

He said: "I was outside in the field and saw some smoke but didn't think anything of it. I just thought someone was having a fire.

"Then two helicopters landed, so I knew then something must have happened."


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