Investigation into Old Buckenham plane crash death

A man who died when his plane crashed and burst into flames in south Norfolk is believed to have been a foreign pilot.The plane came down on farmland near Old Buckenham, at about 6.

A man who died when his plane crashed and burst into flames in south Norfolk is believed to have been a foreign pilot.

The plane came down on farmland near Old Buckenham, at about 6.20pm on Sunday.

Firefighters arrived at the scene at Puddledock Farm and extinguished the flames, but were unable to save the pilot. He was the only person on board the four-seater aircraft.

One witness had described how the plane seemed to stall mid-air before crashing to the ground and bursting into flame.

It is thought that the light aircraft, which has been identified as a Mooney M20B, was registered to an Austrian owner.

Norfolk Police was working alongside investigators from the Department for Transport's Air Accident Investigation Branch on Monday to try to establish the circumstances surrounding the tragic accident.

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A spokesman for Norfolk Police renewed calls for anyone who witnessed the crash to come forward.

She said: 'It is understood that the pilot who sadly died was a male foreign national.'

More details on the pilot will not be released until further investigations have taken place.

She also said that it appeared the pilot was heading towards nearby Old Buckenham Airfield at the time but it is unclear whether he was coming into land.

A spokesman for Old Buckenham Airfield said staff had been helping with the investigations but the airfield had remained operating as usual. He said the aircraft had not been based at the airfield.

The Mooney M20B is a propeller-driven aircraft with a single engine first produced in the early 1960s by the Mooney Airplane Company, based in Texas, USA.

A safety review of the Mooney M20 series, undertaken by the US-based Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) Air Safety Foundation between 1982 and 1991, showed that the aircraft had a good safety record.

Anyone with information regarding the accident should call Insp Paul Rush at Thetford Police Station on 0845 456 4567.

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