Cross in Hand plane crash kills pilot

4th August

Emergency service vehicles were seen rushing soon after 11am to the scene of a plane crash that has resulted in the death of the pilot. He has not yet been named.

According to Sussex Police, the light aircraft crashed near Cross in Hand, Heathfield, on Tuesday morning (August 4).   Emergency services were called to the scene off Herrings Lane at 11.01am where the aircraft had caught fire after crashing. Unfortunately, the pilot is believed to have died instantly. His next-of-kin have been advised.   The matter has now been passed to the Air Accident Investigation Branch  (AAIB) for investigation.

Local resident Gilly Nickols said that just before 11 am she heard a loud bang and then could see black smoke immediately. “My thoughts are with those on the light aircraft and their family. Also with the family who own the airstrip. And three cheers for the emergency services.”

A report in The Metro newspaper said that the plane took off from a private airfield near Cross in Hand used by VoliAmo Flying School The company specialises in training people how to fly microlight aircraft.  A microlight aeroplane is one designed to carry not more than two persons which has a Maximum Total Weight Authorised (MTWA) which is dependent on the specific aircraft.

A photo of trees and smoke in the distance
Smoke in the distance showing the site of this morning’s plane crash. Photo courtesy of Gilly Nickols

In September 2016 there was a similar incident at the Cross in Hand airfield when a plane landed in a tree 15 metres up. The pilot walked away from the accident unharmed. Specialist fire crews with ropes attended the incident.