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Investigation opens into air crash near Micheldever
1:16pm Monday 17th September 2012 in News
A LIGHT aircraft crash near Micheldever which injured two people is being investigated by crash investigators.
Police officers and firefighters from Winchester and Basingstoke rushed to the scene at 3pm on Saturday following reports of the crash near to the A303, between Popham and Micheldever.
A spokesman from the Air Accident Investigation Branch declined to comment other than to confirm an investigation was ongoing and a report of its findings would be published in due course.
Both the pilot and passenger were airlifted to Southampton General Hospital with non-serious injuries.
The 60-year-old passenger suffered suspected fractures, and the pilot, 44, suffered minor injuries.
It is understood the two-seater Piper Tri-Pacer, which is based at Popham Airfield, was doing circuit exercises, including “touch and go” landings just before the accident happened.
Airfield manager Dick Richardson said both men are experienced, fully licensed pilots and Popham Flying Club members. Mr Richardson said the pilot did not report any problems to air traffic control before the crash.
He said: “They were just making normal calls before. It was not one of these ‘mayday mayday I’m crashing’ incidents – nothing like that. I heard it touched the ground, like in a normal landing, bounced and somehow ended up on the other side of the road.
“I have no idea what went wrong. The only people who know are the men on board.”
Following the incident, Popham Airfield cleared airspace for two hours to allow three helicopters to attend the scene – a Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance, a police helicopter, and a coastguard helicopter.
Other planes scheduled to land were diverted until the airfield reopened shortly after 5pm.