Crash airline had been used by drug smuggler The Coventry aftermath: questions raised over radar safety
Friday 23 December 1994
The drugs were found in the possession of Crosby Otobo, a Nigerian pilot who travelled in a Phoenix-operated Boeing 707 aircraft in June 1992. Otobo boarded the Phoenix aircraft in Lagos, Nigeria, intending to travel to Ostend in Belgium.
The aircraft was diverted to Coventry where a Customs officer uncovered a haul of 1.5 kilograms of heroin and half a kilo of cocaine inside Otobo's briefcase. He was charged with two offences of attempting to smuggle class "A" drugs.
No charges were brought against the company or its owners, Christopher Barrett-Jolley and his wife, Maria. Otobo was jailed for eight years in March 1993 with the recomendation that he should be deported when released.
When asked to comment on the case yesterday, Mrs Barrett-Jolley replied: "You worthless piece of shit! Is there no level to which you scum won't stoop to!"
Earlier this year, Mr Barrett-Jolley was taken to court by Lord Guernsey of Packington Hall, Meriden, Warwickshire.
The dispute began in March this year when the Barrett-Jolleys and their son, James, took furnishings with them when they left a 17th-century farmhouse they were renting from Lord Guernsey.
The peer claimed that his former tenant failed to leave behind carpets and curtains as agreed when he moved out of the house where he had lived for nine years.
Mr Barrett-Jolley paid for the fittings at the house on Lord Guernsey's 5,000 acre Packington estate, but Lord Guernsey claimed that Mr Barrett-Jolley had agreed to leave them when he left the house.
In August, a judge ruled that Mr Barrett-Jolley should return the carpets and curtains which were valued by Lord Guernsey at more than £6,000.
The High Court ordered Mr Barrett-Jolley to give back the fittings but they were not returned, and later that month a High Court judge again ruled that they should be returned.
At a second hearing in October, Mr Barrett-Jolley agreed to return them and to pay Lord Guernsey's legal costs, estimated at around £7,000 and £1,500 compensation for items missing at the exchange.
Meanwhile, as air accident investigators continued to examine the wreckage of the Boeing 737 yesterday, it emerged that the pilots, who were killed in Wednesday's crash, were operating in virtually the minimum visibility allowed for a landing using radar, leaving little margin for error.
According to Civil Aviation Authority officials, the aircraft - which was unable to use the more sophisticated instrument landing system that is now the industry norm because it did not have the right radio equipment - would have been allowed to land with a minimum of 1,100 metres forward visibility.
In fact, Coventry Airport reported that visibility at the time of the accident was 1,200 metres.
An experienced Boeing 737 pilot who has worked for Air Algerie said that he was amazed that the aircraft was allowed to use the airport without the proper ILS equipment.
He said: "Approaches using surveillance radar are much more difficult.
"Obviously, the pilots have to fly the plane themselves rather than using the autopilot and these guys, who had already done a night flight to Amsterdam, would have been exhausted."
Most modern aircraft now use ILS, which allows blind landings in foggy conditions by using different radio signals to line the aircraft up laterally and along a three-degree descent path - the aircraft has a height of 300 feet for every mile from the airport.
Some pilots suggest that aircraft using ILS should be banned, but the CAA has a policy of not imposing safety rules in Britain which are onerous than the world norms as this would restrict the number of aircraft to enter British airspace.
Yesterday, as investigators continued their task of trying to identify the cause of Wednesday's crash close to the Willenhall estate in Coventry, the bodies of the five victims were removed from the wreckage.
Britain First criticised for using actress's memory to draw attention to their 'hate-filled home page'
- 1 This 'woman calls police to order pizza' story isn't going where you're expecting
- 2 Axe wielding man shot dead after attacking four New York policemen on busy street
- 3 Watch what happened when food critics were unknowingly served McDonald's
- 4 Jimmy Carr's Oscar Pistorius joke goes a bit too far at the Q Awards
- 5 Ottawa shootings: Bruce MacKinnon's cartoon is the perfect tribute to soldier Nathan Cirillo
Renee Zellweger on plastic surgery rumours: 'I'm living a more fulfilling life and I'm thrilled that perhaps it shows'
FCKH8: YouTube reinstates provocative anti-sexism video showing young girls swearing
Axe wielding man shot dead after attacking four New York policemen on busy street
This 'woman calls police to order pizza' story isn't going where you're expecting
Jimmy Carr's Oscar Pistorius joke goes a bit too far at the Q Awards
Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Support for EU membership 'at highest level since 1991' with most Brits wanting to stay 'in'
Thousands with degenerative conditions classified as 'fit to work in future' – despite no possibility of improvement
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Attacks on 'Ukip Calypso' show how skewed people’s priorities are
£40000 - £50000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...
£30000 - £35000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...
£35000 - £40000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...
£47,334 - £59,058 per annum: Coventry University: The Centre for Agroecology, ...