Light aircraft crash probe continues

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INVESTIGATORS will today continue trying to work out what caused a plane to crash-land in a Suffolk village, killing its pilot.

Witnesses have described seeing the light aircraft come down over Aldham, near Hadleigh, where a team of experts have remained since the accident happened on Saturday.

A member of the public called police at about 11.20am to report a light aircraft had come down and hit a tree.

Emergency services arrived to find the aircraft submerged in a pond between two farmhouses. A man’s body was found by firefighters in the wreckage.

He is yet to be formally identified but is understood to be an experienced pilot from the Ipswich area. His next of kin have been informed of the tragedy.

One villager saw the plane narrowly miss his home and several others properties as it plunged towards the ground, taking down power lines on its descent.

Police, fire and ambulance crews were all called to the scene. East of England Ambulance Service sent paramedics, a clinical manager and a hazardous area response team to the scene.

Fire crews from Woodbridge, Hadleigh, Needham Market, Bury St Edmunds and Halstead, Essex, were in attendance, along with the water rescue vehicle and crew.

Aldham resident Dr Liz Cope, who lives close to the scene of the crash, was elsewhere in the village at the time but returned home to see emergency services there. “It’s obviously very shocking,” she said.

Dennis Hill, who owns a property near the crash site, said the plane narrowly missed his house and several others as it plunged to the ground.

He said: “The plane flew across the fields and into the tree, before falling into the pond. My sons went to investigate, but our property was not damaged and it crashed two or three properties up from ours.”

Mr Hill, who runs the Rose and Crown Inn in nearby Elmsett, added: “I think the pilot died on impact.”

Meanwhile, David Young, of nearby Elmsett Airfield, said he did not know where the plane had flown from or its intended destination. Police have also not released that information.

Another villager, Russell Moye, was told by a local farmer who witnesses the crash that the plane stalled in mid-air.

The Air Accident Investigation Branch is still looking into the cause of the tragedy. Police are expected to disclose the identity of the pilot today.

Detective Chief Inspector Neil Luckett, of Suffolk police, said: “We are in the very early stages of establishing what happened but it could take some considerable time. We have been speaking to witnesses as part of the ongoing investigation.”

A spokesman for UK Power Networks said 351 customers in the Reydon Road area of Aldham experienced an interruption to their power supplies because of the overhead wires damage.

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