A BUSINESSMAN from the North-East was killed when his light aircraft crashed on the Queen’s Sandringham Estate.

Pilot Nigel Dodds, 58, from Gateshead, died along with his passenger, a woman in her 70s, when the Piper-PA-28 came down.

Emergency services were called to private marshland near Wolferton, in Norfolk, just before 11am on Monday morning.

Loading article content

A spokesman for Norfolk Police said: “The pilot, a man in his 50s, and the passenger, a woman in her 70s, were both sadly pronounced dead at the scene. “No-one else was harmed as a result of the incident.”

It is understood Mr Dodds bought the four-seater single engine plane, which has the registration plate GBHAY, five years ago.

It is registered with the Civil Aviation Authority through Mr Dodds’ company, Alpha Yankee Ltd.

A spokesman for the Air Accidents Investigation Branch said. “The Air Accidents Investigation Branch sent a team of inspectors to investigate a fatal accident to a Piper PA28 aircraft at Wolferton, Norfolk.

“Our inspectors are on site gathering evidence and conducting interviews.

“We will recover the aircraft and take it to our facility in Farnborough in Hampshire where a detailed examination can take place while our investigation continues.

“When our investigation is concluded, we will publish a report.”

A spokesman for Norfolk Coroner’s Service said it had been notified of the deaths and an inquest would be opened and adjourned in due course.

North West Norfolk MP Henry Bellingham said: “My thoughts and prayers go out to the family of the victims.

“Obviously it is a very tragic and unexpected event, all the more so because you don’t expect modern light aircraft to crash. It is quite rare.

“There does need to be a full air accident investigation. There may be some lessons that need to be learned.”