Essex

Microlight pilot Stephen Sebastian died in sky fall over France

An experienced pilot was killed in a fall from the sky above France during a microlight flight from Southend to Barcelona, an inquest heard.

The body of Stephen Sebastian, 52, from Westcliff-on-Sea, was found by a farmer near Montpellier in September 2011.

His aircraft was discovered about 500m (1,600ft) away in the next field, an inquest in Southend was told.

Coroner Yvonne Blake said she could provide his family with no answers as to the cause of the crash.

Speaking after the hearing, Mr Sebastian's daughter Anna said not knowing what had happened was "massively" frustrating.

'Died instantly'

She said her father's friends thought he might have reached forward to pick something up from the floor and encountered turbulence which flipped his aircraft over.

The inquest heard Mr Sebastian had been flying to Barcelona to see friends. When he failed to arrive, they alerted his family and the police.

The microlight was found lying on its back. No other aircraft was involved.

The inquest heard Mr Sebastian fell 700m and would have been killed instantly on impact.

A narrative verdict that he died in an air traffic crash was recorded.

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