Buckinghamshire fatal air crash: Coroner calls for safety devices

A coroner has written to an aviation regulator requesting small planes and choppers should be fitted with safety devices after four people were killed. A mid-air crash between a helicopter and a plane happened above Waddesdon Manor, Buckinghamshire in 2017. Crispin Butler, coroner, told the Civil Aviation Authority “action should be taken to prevent future deaths”.

His report said collision avoidance and carbon monoxide devices ought to be fitted to such aircraft. Jaspal Bahra, Saavan Mundae, Mike Green and Nguyen Thanh Trung died following the collision between a Cessna 152 aeroplane and a Guimbal Cabri G2 helicopter at about 12:15 GMT on 17 November.

It was heard at the inquest that the aircraft were in each other’s blind spots. Mr Butler, senior coroner for Buckinghamshire, said without a “requirement to carry inter-craft electronic proximity warning or collision avoidance devices… small craft would remain at risk”.

And although there was no evidence that exposure to carbon monoxide before or during the flight played a part, he urged for it be mandatory for light aircraft to carry monitors or warning devices. “There remains a risk that pilots and passengers may be exposed to carbon monoxide in such craft which might directly put them at risk of death or might put the craft at risk of collision,” he said.

The Cessna and the helicopter took off from Wycombe Park Airfield about half an hour before the crash. Capt Green, 74, of Long Lane, Newbury, was in the helicopter giving a lesson to Vietnamese military officer Capt Trung, 32.

Mr Bahra, 27, a flight instructor from Wembley, was giving a lesson to Mr Mundae, 18, a student from Richmond, Greater London, in the small plane.

Post-mortem examinations found the men died from multiple injuries.

The coroner previously ruled the crash was an accident.

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