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Plane involved in Sandringham crash suffered 'catastrophic' engine failure

PUBLISHED: 07:32 09 August 2018 | UPDATED: 10:16 09 August 2018

The crashed aircraft, which stalled and landed on the sea wall  Picture: Air Accident Investigation Branch

The crashed aircraft, which stalled and landed on the sea wall Picture: Air Accident Investigation Branch

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An investigation into a plane crash on the Queen’s Sandringham Estate in Norfolk has found that the light aircraft’s engine had not been properly maintained.

Two people died when the Piper PA28 aircraft came down in marshland in the village of Wolferton, which is part of the Sandringham Estate, on September 11 last year.

Nigel Dodds, 58 and Valerie Barnes, 73, both from Gateshead, died in the accident.

An Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) inquiry has found that the accident was the result of the aircraft’s engine failing due to oil loss.

The report states: “The accident was likely the result of the aircraft stalling at a low height from which there was insufficient height to recover, during an attempted forced landing following a catastrophic engine failure. “

The report notes that the engine failure was due to oil loss caused by damage and premature wear to the oil control rings. It also found that the aircraft’s engine had not been maintained according to the manufacturer’s instructions while it was not in use for long periods of time.

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