Report into Shoreham Airport plane crash which killed Goring pilot

THE Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) has published a report into a fatal plane crash in Shoreham last year.

On July 4, 2011, a VANS RV-6A, flown by 63-year-old Alan Weal, and a DA 4OD Diamond Star, flown by an instructor from a Shoreham Airport-based flying school, collided over Shoreham.

Mr Weal, of Arlington Avenue, Goring, died when he crash landed on Adur Recreation Ground.

The two-man crew of the Diamond Star managed to land at Shoreham Airport despite damage.

Visibility

The report outlines the flight paths of both planes leading up to the crash.

Mr Weal, an experienced pilot who had flown British Airways commercial planes, was on his third flight of the day testing a friend’s modified plane.

The pilot of the Diamond Star was in the process of upgrading his instructor qualifications and was teaching instrument flying to another instructor.

The report concluded the aircraft collided after the Diamond Star rejoined the “visual circuit” on the crosswind leg with Mr Weal’s plane on the downwind leg.

Despite a warning from an air traffic control officer to the Diamond Star pilot that there were “two in the circuit” neither plane saw the other.

The UK Civil Aviation Authority is now carrying out a review of light aircraft electronic conspicuity and a study into composite aircraft visibility.

Bravery

Immediately following the crash, Mr Weal was praised for his bravery after steering his stricken aircraft away from a children’s playground.

A memorial bench to the grandfather now stands on Adur Recreation Ground with the inscription “In loving memory of Alan Weal, brave pilot who lost his life here, 4 July 2011. Gone but never forgotten”.