Monday, July 29, 2013

Cirrus SR22 GTS, N147KA: Accident occurred July 21, 2013 in English Channel, United Kingdom

NTSB Identification: CEN13WA427 14 CFR Unknown
Accident occurred Sunday, July 21, 2013 in English Channel, United Kingdom
Aircraft: CIRRUS DESIGN CORP SR22, registration: N147KA
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. The foreign authority was the source of this information.

On July 21, 2013, about 1200 UTC, a Cirrus SR-22, N147KA, (s/n 1944) was found in the English Channel near the last radar contact coordinates. The airplane was destroyed and the pilot is missing, unlikely to have survived.

This investigation is under the jurisdiction and control of the British government. Any further information may be obtained from:

Air Accidents Investigations Branch
Farnborough House
Berkshire Copse Road
Aldershot, Hampshire
GU11 2HH, United Kingdom
Telephone: +44 1252 5130300
Facsimile: +444 (0) 1252 376999

This report is for informational purposes only and contains only information released by, or obtained from, the Air Accidents Investigation Branch of England.


Wife's plea in missing pilot hunt:  Sascha Schornstein went missing after setting off from Blackbushe Airport

Sascha Schornstein, the missing pilot after a plane crash at Dungeness

Wreckage of the Cirrus SR22 GTS (N147KA) aircraft that crashed off Dungeness. 
Photo Credit: Judith Richardson/RNLI

 Project owner: Yulia Schornstein & Ian Valentine

The wife of a wealthy banker whose light aircraft apparently crashed in the English Channel after setting off from a north Hampshire airfield said today she needs money to finance a search for her husband.

German national Sascha Schornstein, 36, who worked for RBS in its commodity finance department, was the only person on board the Cirrus SR22 GTS plane which crashed about 15 miles off the coast of Dungeness, Kent, on July 21.

Yulia Schornstein, 28, from Knightsbridge in central London, said that she needed £30,000 for a three-day search to solve the mystery and find his body, plus vital flight data onboard using a GPS and sonar equipped dive vessel after the search by British authorities was called off yesterday.

“I have to know what happened,” she said fighting back tears. “I know Sascha was very responsible. Flying was his passion and he was German and had that attention to detail so I'm sure that in that situation something unexpected must have happened. I'm a little scared of flying but he always took me and I always felt comfortable and we went to France and Germany and he was always well prepared.”

Mr Schornstein had lived in London since 2001 and was a graduate of the London School of Economics. He had logged a flight plan and had taken off from Blackbushe Airport, near Hartley Wintney, en route to Le Touquet in France but he never arrived.

Mrs Schornstein, who works in the hotel industry and had been married for only 18 months, said the American registered aircraft was not owned by her husband but he paid monthly to fly it.

She said that the plane had a parachute fitted but that has also not been found. She explained that her husband, who comes from Rostock in Germany, enjoyed outdoor pursuits in addition to flying and he was a qualified sailor and diver.

Hampshire police, who are investigating the incident, said today that they are still treating it a missing persons inquiry.

Despite an extensive search by British and French authorities only around ten to 15% of the wreckage has been recovered, including parts of the wings, fuselage and doors.

Sgt Andy Thomas said: “In the simplest terms because we have not found Sascha, this is a missing person inquiry. Although it would appear he has been involved in an accident, we are keeping all lines of inquiry open.”

The officer said that the force was running background checks on Mr Schornstein’s mobile phone, bank accounts and credit cards but the results were not back. He explained this was normal procedure in such an investigation. He said that there was nothing at present in Mr Schornstein’s background or personal life to suggest he would have faked a crash and disappeared.

He explained it was not unusual not to find more of the wreckage and that the task of locating the main part of the plane had been challenging.

Mrs Schornstein, who is originally from St Petersburg in Russia, said she knew of nothing that would lead her husband to disappear.

“We are very happy and money was not a problem. There are really no problems. He was very busy at work and he was working one night until 4am. He often stayed late in the office and was working on something that was going to finish in July and we were going on holiday to France in August for my birthday,” she added.

The Air Accident Investigation Branch is also looking into what caused the aircraft to come down in water that was around 50 metres deep. The weather on the day was fine.

Mrs Schornstein is asking for donations to help fund the search. She said that there is limited time to find out what happened which could be of help to other pilots and the flight data chips are onboard the aircraft and they could solve the mystery.

Those interested in giving can do so at  

Anyone with information about Mr Schornstein is asked to phone Hampshire Police on 101 or 0845 045 4545.