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Last Updated: Monday, 6 August 2007, 14:34 GMT 15:34 UK
Plane crash death probe continues
Crash site
Wreckage of the plane is being examined by investigators
An investigation is continuing after a light aircraft crashed into a field after take-off on the Isle of Wight, killing four people on board.

The plane, which had flown from Tatenhill Airfield in Staffordshire, was leaving the Isle of Wight Airport at Sandown on Sunday when it crashed.

The Piper Cherokee, bound for Pontivy Airfield in Brittany, France, came down near Canteen Road, Apse Heath.

Police said the four people who died were all from Staffordshire.

We are not in a position to speculate about the cause of the accident
Department for Transport spokesman

A Hampshire police spokeswoman said: "Shortly after the plane had taken off from Sandown, it appears to have experienced difficulties and subsequently crashed in a field close to the runway.

"The cause of the crash remains unknown at this stage."

She said police were not in a position to confirm the identities of the deceased.

Wreckage from the crash is being salvaged by investigators from the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB).

A spokesman for the Department for Transport (DfT) said the remains of the plane would be taken to the AAIB's headquarters in Farnborough, Hampshire.

No black box

He said two investigators - an engineer and an expert in flying and operating aircraft - were carrying out the inquiry.

He added: "We are not in a position to speculate about the cause of the accident.

"Our investigators will want to look at the wreckage and bring it back to our headquarters where they will piece it back together.

"They will also be looking at the aircraft and pilot's log, flight plan and air traffic control records as well as any eye witness statements."

The spokesman added that this type of plane would not have a black box recorder, which larger aircraft are fitted with to record its communications and movements.

'Tragic accident'

He said the inquiry would take about two months to complete.

A spokesman for the Isle of Wight Airport at Sandown said: "This is a tragic accident."

The spokesman added that the aircraft had arrived from Tatenhill in Burton-on-Trent and had come to the airport previously but it was not a regular visitor.

He also said the airport would continue to operate normally following the accident.

Scheduled services to London and The Channel Islands operate from Sandown, and an air taxi service is also based at the airport.


SEE ALSO
Four dead in light aircraft crash
05 Aug 07 |  Hampshire

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