Shropshire

Misadventure verdict after Shropshire microlight crash

The aircraft
Image caption An aircraft hit the ground in a field to the east of Shifnal Airfield in May last year

A verdict of death by misadventure has been returned for a pilot whose microlight crashed in a field near a Shropshire airfield.

Tony Crocombe, 64, of Market Drayton, was flying the dual-controlled aircraft when it stalled and spiralled out of control whilst trying to land at Shifnal in 2016, an inquest concluded.

Passenger Mike Sumner, 66, from Market Drayton, also died.

The coroner, John Ellery, recorded his death as accidental.

The two men had taken off from Longford airfield near Market Drayton on 30 May last year.

Witnesses described seeing the aircraft travelling at low speed before stalling and investigators said the engine was operating at low or no power at impact.

Image copyright Irwin Mitchell
Image caption Passenger Mike Sumner, from Market Drayton, died

The inquest heard although there was no evidence of icing or that the pilot became incapacitated, those two possibilities could not be ruled out.

The Air Accidents Investigation Branch has previously said the pilot had recently bought the aircraft and accrued about eight hours' flying time - and while piloting two earlier flights with the previous owner, control of the craft was taken over amid concerns about the craft's speed.

'Important answers'

The passenger's widow, Patricia, 67, said: "Not a day goes by when we do not think about Mike and the entire family misses him so much.

"The inquest has provided some important answers regarding the incident and while nothing will bring Mike back, we hope that lessons can be learned from his death to ensure no family has to suffer like we have.

"We believe that with better training and guidance, accidents of this type can be avoided in the future."

A statement on behalf of the Crocombe family released by West Mercia Police said: "The family wishes to express their sincere thanks to everybody that's helped.

"It's been an extremely traumatic time for the family, suffering the tragic loss of a husband, father and brother."

A jury returned the verdict of death by misadventure for Mr Crocombe.

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