Wolferton crash plane set to be recovered as investigation continues

Light aircraft which came down at Wolferton. Photo: Air Accidents Investigation Branch.
Light aircraft which came down at Wolferton. Photo: Air Accidents Investigation Branch.
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A plane which crashed in Wolferton yesterday morning (Monday, September 11) is set to be recovered today as investigations into the accident continue.

Two people died after the light aircraft crashed into marshland at about 11am.

Postman Anthony Pittam talking to media at the site of the police cordon to the plane crash at Wolferton.

Postman Anthony Pittam talking to media at the site of the police cordon to the plane crash at Wolferton.

A pilot and a female passenger died after the aircraft they were travelling in crash landed on the Sandringham Estate.

The pilot, in his 50s, and the woman in her 70s, were the only people on board the four-seater Piper Arrow, which came down at the Queen’s Norfolk residence.

The pair were pronounced dead at the scene and there were no other casualties, Norfolk Police said.

The coastguard, fire service and ambulance service attended the scene.

Light aircraft which came down at Wolferton. Photo: Air Accidents Investigation Branch.

Light aircraft which came down at Wolferton. Photo: Air Accidents Investigation Branch.

An Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) were in Wolferton this morning, and Royal Protection officers and farm vehicles were also seen going in and out of a private road leading to the crash site which was sealed off by police.

A spokesman for the AAIB said: “The Air Accidents Investigation Branch sent a team of inspectors to investigate a fatal accident to a Piper PA28 aircraft at Wolferton, Norfolk, yesterday (Monday) morning.

“Our inspectors are on site gathering evidence and conducting interviews.

“We expect to recover the aircraft later today and take it to our facility in Farnborough where a detailed examination can take place while our investigation continues.

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“When our investigation is concluded, we will publish a report.”

A spokeswoman for the Sandringham Estate refused to comment on the incident but said it was not believed any members of the Royal family were at the residence at the time of the crash.

Residents in the village have been reacting to the news today.

Anthony Pittam, postman, 43 said: “I was delivering over there yesterday and I saw a plane was really low, and there were some really low clouds.

Emergency vehicles at the cordon to the site of the light aircraft crash at Wolferton.

Emergency vehicles at the cordon to the site of the light aircraft crash at Wolferton.

“I looked up as I had heard it. It apparently hit a tree over on the bank. I would not like to say it was in trouble, but visibility wasn’t great and it was quite windy.

“They were not the best conditions at all.”

Villager Emma Mccowen, 48, said: “We regularly see light aircraft, especially at weekends if the weather is nice, there’s a constant supply of leisure flights.

“There’s a private airfield nearby in East Winch.

“It’s lots of ditches out there but it’s private land. It’s near Snettisham Bird Reserve too.”

A pensioner from the village described the wind at the time of the crash as like an “express train”.

She said: “It was very, very windy, it was like an express train. I have a barometer in the house and it went right down.”

The woman, who did not want to be named, said light aircraft planes often flew over the marshland to take views of the picturesque Norfolk coast and added: “If somebody was trying to land they could land on the marshland

“There are quite big fields there as well - if somebody was in trouble the could actually.

“There are sea banks all the way along there - they are flood defences and they drain there to make the marshland.

“It might have been blown off by a gust of wind or something.”

She was gardening in front of her home, which is owned by the Sandringham Estate, when emergency services rushed past.

“The first was an ambulance, interestingly,” she said. “There were about six police cars, two ambulances and three fire engines.”

Councillor Tim Tilbrook, whose ward covers Wolferton, said: “My thoughts go out to the people who have been killed. “Our thoughts and prayers go to the families. It’s sad that two people have lost their lives. It’s a tragedy. “I think people in the village will be shocked. This is the last thing in the world they would’ve expected to happen. “It is a beautiful part of Norfolk and for something like this to happen is most unusual. “It’s a tremendous community here. If they can do anything to help, I’m sure they will do.”