- 2 mins read
Aviation lawyer at national law firm Ashfords says the causes of this tragic accident need to be understood so that light aircraft flight safety can be improved.
On Thursday 13 July 2017, a Diamond Super Dimona motor glider crashed into a field in Brimslade Farm near Marlborough, Wiltshire.
Firefighters were called to the farmer's field to extinguish the flames when the plane crashed down at 6:30pm in the evening. Sadly the two people on-board the aircraft were killed.
The Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) has launched an investigation into the cause of this tragic incident.
One of the occupants of the aircraft has been named as Paul Gunnell - a former RAF pilot. Paul joined the RAF in 1982 and flew a number of aircraft types, specialising on Harrier fast jets. On retiring from the RAF he joined Cathay Pacific where he flew Airbus and Boeing airliners. During his time with the airline Paul obtained a law degree.
Jim Morris, who is head of aviation at Ashfords, was also a pilot in the RAF for 12 years then qualified as lawyer to specialise in representing the victims of air accidents. Using his professional pilot and legal expertise, Jim has advised and represented hundreds of victims involved in air accidents around the world.
Jim Morris commented: "As we now know that Paul Gunnell was one of the occupants, we now know that there was exceptional aviation expertise within the aircraft, which suggests that something catastrophic went wrong. During his career in the RAF as a top pilot on single engine high performance aircraft, Paul would have gained (and demonstrated) exceptional ability at practicing and dealing with in-flight incidents and emergencies. Given that the accident aircraft was a basic motor glider with a very good glide range when not using engine power, the catastrophic outcome of this air incident is very surprising."
At this stage very little is known about the chain of events that led to the loss of this aircraft, so it is crucial that the investigators are able to determine causes promptly so that lessons can be learned and appropriate measures implemented to prevent a similar accident in the future. The air accident investigators will examine the wreckage and any form of recorded information available to determine the key factors that contributed to the accident. The key considerations will include; the weather, the condition of the aircraft and its engine, the pilot's actions and the parameters of the aircraft's flight leading up to and during loss of control / impact.
"Our thoughts are with the families of the victims during this very difficult time."