- Two die after light aircraft crashes at Hawarden Airport in Flintshire
- Dramatic photos show plane hurtling nose-first towards the ground
- Pilot Gary Vickers, 58, was pronounced dead at the scene, while his female passenger died later in hospital
- North Wales Police are investigating the incident at 1.10pm yesterday
These horrific pictures show the moment a light aircraft crashed into the ground while trying to land – killing both of the people on board.
Pilot Gary Vickers, 58, died instantly and his female passenger died later in hospital after the crash, which happened near an Airbus UK factory in Flintshire, north Wales, yesterday.
The photos show the twin-engine plane doing a tight turn above a runway at Hawarden Airport – just seconds before hurtling nose-first towards the ground.
Horrific: The light aircraft hurtles nose-first through the air – just seconds before smashing into the ground
Disaster: The plane, pictured performing a tight turn in the air, was trying to land when it veered out of control
Fatal: Pilot Gary Vickers, 58, died instantly and his female passenger died later in hospital after the incident, which happened near an Airbus UK factory in Flintshire, north Wales, yesterday
It then smashes into the runway at high speed – causing the aircraft to flip over and break into pieces.
Today, Mr Vickers’s father Gordon paid tribute to ‘an excellent pilot’ whose passion was taking to the skies.
‘All the family are devastated,’ said Mr Vickers, who ran the Mill Hotel & Spa in Chester with his son.
‘Gary was an excellent pilot, both single and twin aircraft, with hundreds of hours in his log book.
Wreckage: Police were called to the scene at Hawarden Airport at about 1.10pm, where they discovered the wreckage of the doomed aircraft
Response: North Wales Fire and Rescue Service sent three appliances to the scene – however, the remains of the plane were dealt with by on-site firefighters from the nearby Airbus factory
‘Flying was his passion. I do not think it was pilot error – more of an engine failure. But we will have to wait and see.’
Police were called to the airport at about 1.10pm, where they discovered the wreckage of the doomed plane.
A police spokesman said: ‘The man was pronounced dead at the scene and the woman was taken to the Countess of Chester Hospital where she later died.’
Recovery: Today, a crane and a flat bed truck were on standby to help recover the light aircraft
Investigation: Police said a full investigation would be undertaken to establish the circumstances of the crash
North Wales Fire and Rescue Service also sent three appliances to the scene.
Today, a crane and a flat bed truck have been on standby to help recover the remains of the light aircraft.
Crash location: The aircraft crashed onto the runway at Chester Hawarden Airport in north Wales
Engineer Owen Reid, who witnessed the accident, wrote on Twitter: ‘I was in the car park as it came in and saw the whole thing. It looked pretty bad.’
The woman has not yet been formally identified, and no-one else was onboard.
A spokesman for Airbus said the crash at Hawarden airfield did not involve one of its aircraft – adding: ‘The company would like to extend its sympathy to the family and friends of those who lost their lives.’
Police said a full investigation would be undertaken to establish the full circumstances of the incident.
A spokesman for the Air Accidents Investigation Bureau (AAIB) said: ‘We have deployed a team to the airport to investigate.’
Chester Hawarden Airport lies near the Welsh border with England, four miles south-west of Chester, and has a large Airbus factory which produces aircraft wings.
During the Second World War, Hawarden was a maintenance base for RAF aircraft.
Today, North Wales Police said: ‘We are working with the AAIB to establish what caused the plane to crash. The AAIB will lead the investigation.
‘North Wales Police are currently not in a position to identify the woman who died. The coroner has been informed.’