[16 AUG 00] CRIMES,
FIRES & ACCIDENTS
Crashed After Pilot Got Lost In Cloud
helicopter pilot who became disoriented in cloud as he flew to
Coventry said “we’re in trouble” shortly before crashing.
people died after the flight from Blackpool to Coventry on 1
February smashed into a hillside in Lancashire.
report by the Air Accident Investigation Branch has found that
Wayne Burgess, aged 32, from Coventry was the commander of the R44
was alongside Neil Waterfall, aged 38, who was behind the controls
as a training exercise to get used to the R44.
in the helicopter was passenger James Roe, aged 40, who was also
killed. Both Mr Roe and Mr Waterfall were from Doveridge in
crew was flown to Blackpool in another helicopter to collect the
R44, which was to be taken to Coventry for training.
two helicopters agreed to fly back south together, using a route
called the Manchester Low Level Route.
as they got near Leyland, cloud forced the pilot of the R44 to fly
even lower. He took a turn which took him close to high ground.
at a nearby radar station asked the pilot if he needed any help to
get back on course.
in the actually in the cloud now, can you give us some
report describes the pilot’s flight path at this point as
“erratic”. It found that neither pilot was qualified to fly by
instruments alone, but the conditions were too poor to fly by
final words came from the helicopter at 4.45pm:
Golf Mike Echo we’re in trouble”.
report said it was unlikely that any technical difficulty was
responsible for the crash, and summarised:
full formal report analysing the incident in greater detail is yet
to be prepared.
is therefore most probable that the helicopter was flown into
the cloud inadvertently and the handling pilot became
was then unable to control the helicopter, which subsequently
struck the ground.”