Thursday, April 12, 2012

Central Scotland: Pilot dies as plane falls 100 metres

The scene of the plane microlight crash close to Kennet village near Clackmannan.
 Picture: Andrew Milligan/PA
A MAN has died after the microlight aircraft he was piloting crashed 100 metres into a field near a village in Central Scotland.

The incident happened near Kennet in Clackmannanshire at about 2:15pm today.

The pilot, who has not been named, is understood to have been flying alone at the time.

Local residents said that plane came down close to some properties outside of the village, in an area known locally as Carse of Clackmannan.

Emergency services attended the incident, but the man was pronounced dead at the scene.

It has since emerged that the aircraft appeared to be uninsured. According to the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) website, the crashed microlight was a 20-year-old Gemini Flash IIA which had at least two previous owners, and its permit to fly had expired on 28 May, 2009.

Further details show that it was de-registered from the CAA’s records 9 December 2011 and that its date of “No Flight” declaration, which effectively says that it is not insured and therefore will not be used, is dated 18 February, 2011. 

A Central Scotland Police spokeswoman said: “One man has died and inquiries are at an early stage. 

“The incident occurred in a rural area, and it is not yet clear at what stage of the flight this has occurred.

“Police, ambulance and fire services all attended, but he was pronounced dead at the scene.

“The man will not be identified until his next of kin had been informed.”

A tent was later erected over the crash site.

A spokeswoman for Central Scotland Fire and Rescue said: “The incident occurred close to Kennet Garden Farm. 

“The microlight appears to have come down in a field – it doesn’t appear to have struck any structures.”

The Scottish Ambulance Service said paramedics had accessed the crash site via a track road on Kennet Gardens Farm. 

They pronounced the pilot dead at the scene.

An ambulance spokesman added: “Paramedics at the scene estimated that the microlight had come down from a height of between 200ft to 300ft.”

Dawn Ferguson, 27, from Kennet, said: “It’s terrible. The area where the microlight came down is surrounded by trees, so it’s hard to see the wreckage, but there has been lots of police activity.” 

A spokeswoman for the Air Accidents Investigation Branch said that a team of officers was travelling to the crash scene last night to investigate the cause of the crash. 

Microlight aircraft are lightweight in design and can hold a maximum of two people. 

A licence is required to fly one in the UK.

All microlight pilots are required to hold a licence, which takes a minimum of 25 flight hours to achieve. 

Microflight pilots undertake a one-hour test every two years, though it is not an official requirement, with an instructor to monitor their skills. 

They have to certify that they are of good general health and have this claim countersigned by their own GP.

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