Coventry air crash pilots 'did not see each other'

The two pilots in a mid-air collision which killed five people either did not see each other or had no time to take effective avoiding action, an accident report said today.

A contributory factor in the accident was that "insufficient or inaccurate information was provided to the two pilots", the report from the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) said.

The flight-landing sequence plan prepared for the flights by the aerodrome controller (ADC) at Coventry Airport was based on an "incomplete understanding" of the nature of the flight of the Cessna light aircraft involved and was "unlikely to have been successful", the report added.

By the time the risk of a collision between the Cessna and the home-built Rand Robinson KR-2 light aircraft was identified, it was "too late to devise an effective method of resolving the situation".

The report said an eyewitness to the collision had said the left wing of the Cessna apparently passed "directly through" the Rand KR-2 which had been built by, and was being flown by, Brian Normington, 70, of Blackdown, near Leamington Spa in Warwickshire.

Mr Normington was killed, as were the two pilots in the Cessna - Sybille Gautrey, 33, from Towcester, Northamptonshire, and Sophie Hastings, 28, from Swadlingcote, Derbyshire.

Two others in the Cessna also died - James Beagley, 34, from High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, and Harvey Antrobus, 28, from Fillongley, Warwickshire.

The accident happened close to Coventry Airport on the morning of August 17, 2008, with Mr Normington on a private flight and the Cessna on a flight to check navigational aids.

The AAIB said the ADC was not aware of the type of training that the Cessna was undertaking because the flight progress strip, by which air traffic controllers track flights, had incorrect information on it.

Instead of having "ILS (instrument landing system) calibration work" on it, the strip had "IRT" (instrument rating training).

The report said: "Although the crew of G-EYES (the Cessna) explained their intentions on the radio prior to take-off, it appeared that the information was insufficient for the air traffic controllers on duty to understand its full implications."

The report said the ADC believed from the progress strip that the Cessna crew were undertaking instrument rating training and that he did not discover the crew were undertaking ILS calibration training until after the accident.

The report said the ADC had said that, if he had been aware of the true nature of the flight, he might have restricted the number of aircraft in the area around the airport and would have given the Cessna a higher priority for landing.

The AAIB added that, with "a clearer understanding of the nature" of the Cessna flight, the ADC might have developed a different plan. In the event, the plan he did devise was "unlikely to have been successful".

The report said Mr Normington was not informed about the Cessna "approaching on ILS". It added that the sightline to the Rand KR-2 from the Cessna front right seat "probably intersected the canopy behind, or slightly to the left of, the windscreen central pillar".

News
The cartoon produced by Bruce MacKinnon for the Halifax Chronicle-Herald on Thursday, showing the bronze soldiers of the war memorial in Ottawa welcoming Corporal Cirillo into their midst
news
Voices
Funds raised from the sale of poppies help the members of the armed forces with financial difficulties
voicesLindsey German: The best way of protecting soldiers is to stop sending them into disastrous conflicts
Voices
Nigel Farage has backed DJ Mike Read's new Ukip song
voicesNigel Farage: Where is the Left’s outrage over the sexual abuse of girls in the North of England?
Property
One bedroom terraced house for sale, Richmond Avenue, Islington, London N1. On with Winkworths for £275,000.
property
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Life and Style
Text messaging changes as a relationship evolves
life
News
The comedian, 42, made the controversial comment following the athlete’s sentencing to five years for the culpable homicide of Reeva Steenkamp on Tuesday
peopleComedian's quip about Reeva Steenkamp was less than well received at music magazine awards
Sport
Cristiano Ronaldo in action for Real Madrid
football
News
peoplePerformer had recently been diagnosed with prostate cancer
Life and Style
food + drink
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

SSRS Report Developer - Urgent Contract - London - £300pd

£300 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: SSRS Report Developer – 3 Mon...

KS1 Teacher

£95 - £150 per day: Randstad Education Birmingham: Key Stage 1 teacher require...

HR Business Partner - Essex - £39,000 plus benefits

£32000 - £39000 per annum + benefits + bonus: Ashdown Group: Generalist HR Man...

Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £30000 per annum + uncapped: SThree: Do you feel like your sales role...

Day In a Page

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker
Renée Zellweger's real crime has been to age in an industry that prizes women's youth over humanity

'Renée Zellweger's real crime was to age'

The actress's altered appearance raised eyebrows at Elle's Women in Hollywood awards on Monday
From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Patrick Grafton-Green wonders if they can ever recapture the old magic
Thousands of teenagers to visit battlefields of the First World War in new Government scheme

Pupils to visit First World War battlefields

A new Government scheme aims to bring the the horrors of the conflict to life over the next five years
The 10 best smartphone accessories

Make the most of your mobile: 10 best smartphone accessories

Try these add-ons for everything from secret charging to making sure you never lose your keys again
Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time against Real Madrid: Was this shirt swapping the real reason?

Liverpool v Real Madrid

Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time. Was shirt swapping the real reason?
West Indies tour of India: Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Decision to pull out of India tour leaves the WICB fighting for its existence with an off-field storm building
Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?