The families of two pilots who died when their plane accidentally crashed on a mountain have paid tribute to two ‘inspirational’ and ‘wonderful’ men.
Welshpool Airport owner Bob Jones, 60, and retired easyJet pilot Steve Carr, 55, from Ruthin, North Wales, died when the twin-engine plane they were flying in crashed on Long Mountain, near Welshpool, on January 18.
A jury returned a verdict of accidental death at an inquest held in Welshpool yesterday after being told the plane had crashed into cloud-covered trees.
Following the inquest, the family of Bob Jones released a statement saying: “We fully accept the coroner’s findings. Bob’s death has been a great personal tragedy for all of the family. We hope that these proceedings may close a difficult chapter in our lives.”
Meanwhile, a statement on behalf of Mr Carr’s widow Tara, said: “We will carry our memories of him with us forever. We fully accept the coroner’s findings.”
The inquest heard that the plane had taken off at about 11.06am and had radioed to base to say it was coming back a short time later.
Kate Evans, who runs Welshpool Flying School from the airport, told the jury that she called RAF Shawbury after the plane didn’t return to base.
She said: “From then on it was a bit of a blur and concern was escalating extremely quickly with so many phone calls coming in from different people.
“RAF Shawbury sent a search and rescue helicopter up to look along with the air ambulance which is based in Welshpool.”
Ms Evans said the two men had carried out all the correct safety checks on the plane and had re-fuelled.
Paul Hannant from the Air Accident Investigations Bureau said the plane was returning on a wider route than usual, but it was most likely due to Mr Carr familiarising himself with the plane or due to a helicopter being in the valley nearby travelling at a slower speed.