Monday, February 13, 2012

Air crash inquest starts today

Flight Lieutenant Mike Blee and Cadet Nicholas Langley-Rice killed in RAF aircraft crash

An inquest is expected to begin into the deaths of a teenage air cadet and his instructor who were killed in an air crash in Oxfordshire.

Nicholas Langley-Rice, 15, was on board an RAF training aircraft when it collided in mid-air with a glider.

He died alongside RAF reservist Flight Lieutenant Mike Blee, 62, on June 14, 2009, in Drayton, Abingdon.

The two-seater Tutor plane had taken off from RAF Benson in Oxfordshire on an air experience flight with the pilot and the Combined Cadet Force cadet on board when the incident occurred.

The pilot of the glider, Henry Freeborn, from Lee-on-the-Solent in Hampshire, managed to parachute from his stricken aircraft and landed safely in fields in Sutton Courtenay, near Abingdon.

Eye witnesses said the single-engined trainer hit the ground nose first with a violent impact after spiralling out of control.

According to the Ministry of Defence website, the Tutor T Mk 1 "is used for elementary flying training by the 14 University Air Squadrons and 12 Air Experience Flights throughout the UK".

Nicholas was a cadet with the Combined Cadet Force (CCF) at Elvian School, in Bath Road, Reading, Berkshire.

Fl Lt Blee was a retired Wing Commander with 38 years of service prior to becoming a Volunteer Reserve Officer on No 6 Air Experience Flight (AEF) in 2005, where he assumed the rank of Flight Lieutenant.

The inquest will take place at Oxford Coroner's Court, Old Assizes, County Hall, New Road, Oxford.


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