Belper pilot killed in plane crash

By Richard Roworth.
By Richard Roworth.

A pilot from Belper was one of two men who died when the light aircraft they were travelling in crashed in a field near the M1, police have confirmed.

John Gill, 70, of Belper, and Alan Eaves, 76, of Selston, died at the scene of the crash in a field near the junction 26 of the motorway at around 1.30pm on Saturday, June 14.

Both men were members of the Merlin Flying Club, based at the Rolls-Royce airfield at Hucknall, and were using a Cessna aircraft owned by the club at the time of the incident.

A statement on the club’s website read: “We are deeply saddened by the tragic loss of two valued members of Merlin Flying Club and our thoughts are with their families at this difficult time.

“The club is cooperating fully with the ongoing investigation and we do not wish to comment further at this time.

“The airfield is closed and will remain so until a time we consider it appropriate to re-open.”

The men were both experienced pilots flying recognised circuits at the time of the crash.

A spokesman for Nottinghamshire Police said: “Their relatives have been informed and are being supported during this difficult time. They have asked for the media to respect their privacy and allow them to grieve.”

A post mortem examination, which took place on Tuesday, June 17 has ruled out any medical condition contributing to the crash.

The Air Accident Investigation Branch is making enquiries into the circumstances surrounding the incident.