Shifnal aircraft crash: Family make plea for answers ahead of inquest

The family of an aviation enthusiast who died in a microlight crash have revealed their hope that his inquest will provide answers about the accident.

Left to right, Tony Crocombe and Mike Sumner
Left to right, Tony Crocombe and Mike Sumner

Tony Crocombe, 64, of Kiln Bank Crescent, Market Drayton, and Lawrence Michael Sumner, who was also known as Mike, 66, also of Market Drayton, died when the aircraft crashed in Shifnal on May 30 last year.

It had taken off from its base at the Longford airstrip in Market Drayton and was believed to be heading for an airstrip at Shifnal, run by a local flying club, when it crashed just before 4pm.

The inquest into the deaths of the two men will be held in front of a jury at Shrewsbury Coroner’s Court, starting on Monday.

More than a year on, Mr Sumner’s family said the lack of answers about how he died has made it even harder to cope with his loss.

His wife Patricia Sumner, 67, said: “We are all still devastated by the loss of Mike – and the lack of genuine answers about how he died has made it much harder.

“This inquest is a welcome step and we are hopeful that the many questions we have about that fateful day will soon be answered.”

Peter Lorence, the serious injury lawyer at Irwin Mitchell’s London office who is representing Mrs Sumner and daughter Emma Roberts, said:

“Many questions remain around the exact circumstances of how the microlight came to crash and the aim of the inquest will be to examine the events leading to the flight, why Mr Crocombe lost control of the aircraft and analyse any other contributory factors.”

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