Page last updated at 00:12 GMT, Thursday, 12 November 2009

Crash pilot 'had taken cannabis'

Niall Glover
Mr Gover was flying from Barton aerodrome to an airstrip in Rutland

A pilot killed when his light aircraft crashed may have been flying under the influence of cannabis, an Air Accidents Investigation Branch report has said.

A post-mortem test on father-of-two Niall Gover, 41, from Stockport, found a chemical derived from the active ingredient of cannabis in his blood.

Mr Gover's aircraft crashed on Saddleworth Moor on 8 October 2008.

Although he may not have consumed the drug before the crash, the report said it had to be considered as a factor.

The Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) said: "It is possible that consumption, active or passive, took place before that and the pilot's judgment was not affected by the drug at the time.

"However, without evidence to the contrary, the possibility remains that the pilot was under the influence of the drug at the time of the accident and that his judgment may have been sufficiently impaired for this to have been a factor in the accident."

Mr Gover was flying from Barton aerodrome in Manchester to Shacklewell Lodge - a small private airstrip near RAF Cottesmore at Oakham in Rutland.

The accident report said his aircraft descended rapidly and crashed "probably as a result of a loss of control following an inadvertent entry into cloud".



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Man dies in light aircraft crash
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