Pilot error blamed for plane crash that killed former Ely dentist
A PLANE crash which killed all four occupants, including Ely dentist Kevin Young was caused by pilot error, a coroner has ruled.
Pilot Vittorio Rossetti, who also died in the horror smash in Italy back in 2008, had failed to draw up a plan of his flight from Trento to Venice, and the aircraft was overloaded.
As the pilot’s colleagues flying alongside him on an International Federation of Flying Rotarians (IFFR) trip took a safer route through the main Valle Gulva, Mr Rossetti plunged into dangerous terrain approaching the Passo Borcola.
When he ran into trouble, the weight of the aircraft, which was also carrying Mr Rossetti’s wife Marinella and Letchworth solicitor John Ritchie, meant he was unable to turn to avoid an impending collision..
At the time of the crash, 54-year-old Mr Young was running the St Mary’s Street dental surgery in Ely, and a practice in Darthill Road, March.
Witnesses saw the light aircraft make two sharp turns to the left and the right before exploding on impact, instantly killing all those on board, the inquest heard.
“This incident, I’m clear, occurred through pilot error,” said coroner William Morris. “There appears to have been inadequate flight planning and we know no formal flight plan was lodged.
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“Taking into account the performance of the aircraft in relation to the topography, I’ve heard the pilot could have taken a safer route down the main valley.”
The plane was 88 kg overweight when it took off at about 4pm on June 1 2008, which senior air accident investigator Andrew Blackie said “reduced controllability”.
Speaking after the inquest at Huntingdon Law Courts, Mr Ritchie’s son George said the coroner’s verdict was “absolutely right”.
He said: “The verdict shows it was not just simply an accident but was caused as a result of serious failures by the pilot. It shouldn’t have happened.”
Both Mr Young and Mr Ritchie were keen flyers and had been members of the IFFR for several years.
It was only at a dinner the night before that Mr Young and Mr Ritchie agreed to Mr Rossetti’s offer to fly them on the fateful trip.
Mr Young’s widow Belinda, who looks after their 13 and 15-year-old children, added: “It is very difficult to convey just how deeply saddened I am that Kevin will not be here to see our children growing up.”