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Pilot’s ‘distraught’ SOS call moments before tragic plane crash on Queen’s Sandringham Estate

PUBLISHED: 14:04 13 September 2017 | UPDATED: 19:42 13 September 2017

Wreckage is removed from the scene where a light aircraft crashed on marshland near Wolferton in Norfolk on Monday, September 11. Picture: Joe Giddens/PA Wire

Wreckage is removed from the scene where a light aircraft crashed on marshland near Wolferton in Norfolk on Monday, September 11. Picture: Joe Giddens/PA Wire

A fellow pilot has described the “distraught” SOS call made by Wolferton air crash victim Nigel Dodds moments before the tragic accident.

The roads were blocked in Wolferton by Police after a light aircraft crashed on the Royal Estate. Picture: Ian BurtThe roads were blocked in Wolferton by Police after a light aircraft crashed on the Royal Estate. Picture: Ian Burt

Jeff Espenship said he “so wished I could have been there in his cockpit to help calm him” after hearing Mr Dodds, from the Gateshead area, was in trouble.

MORE: Pilot who died in plane crash on Queen’s Sandringham Estate named as Nigel Dodds

Mr Dodds eventually crashed on marshland at Wolferton, near King’s Lynn, on the Queen’s Sandringham Estate, meaning that he and a passenger in her 70s died.

Mr Espenship, a commercial airline pilot, was flying from Paris to New York on the day of the fateful crash when he was maintaining a ‘listen watch’ on an emergency frequency.

MORE: Tributes continue to pour in for two people killed in light aircraft crash on Queen’s Sandringham Estate

He said: “I heard this guy radioing for help. Our position was approximately 45miles south of where he went down.

The roads were blocked in Wolferton by Police after a light aircraft crashed on the Royal Estate. Picture: Ian BurtThe roads were blocked in Wolferton by Police after a light aircraft crashed on the Royal Estate. Picture: Ian Burt

”I Googled to see if they made it but was very sad to read they perished.

“His voice over the radio was very distraught. I so wished I could have been there in his cockpit to help calm him and talk him through the landing.”

MORE: Investigators to examine aircraft following crash in Wolferton killing two people

Emergency services were called just before 11am on Monday, September 11 and the pair were pronounced dead at the scene.

A female passenger aged in her 70s also died in the accident.

There has been widespread shock amongst the community following the incident.

Investigators from the Air Accident Investigation Branch (AAIB) are looking into the causes of the crash and believe it could take up to a year to determine what happened.

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