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  1. ITV Report

Plane in fatal Sandringham crash 'not properly maintained'

The crashed plane on the Sandringham Estate in Norfolk. Credit: AAIB

A plane which crashed on the Queen's Sandringham Estate killing two people wasn't properly maintained, an investigation has found.

Pilot Nigel Dodds, 58, and passenger Valerie Barnes, 73, from Gateshead, died when the light aircraft came down in marshland last September.

An inquiry by the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) revealed the plane crashed into an old sea wall after the engine failed during a flight from Southend to Newcastle.

Pilot Nigel Dodds, 58, and passenger Valerie Barnes, 73, were killed in the crash Credit: .

Investigators found the problem was caused by oil loss, noting the engine had not been maintained according to the manufacturer's instructions while it was unused for long periods and parked outside.

During the flight, Mr Dodds transmitted a Mayday call stating he had a "very rough running engine".

A controller at the Distress and Diversion emergency cell at Swanwick, Hampshire, advised the pilot that Great Massingham Airfield was around nine miles away.

Mr Dodds replied he would not make it that far, adding: "It's gonna be a field."

This was the last transmission received from the aircraft and was 30 seconds before radar contact was lost.

Police at the scene of the crash last September. Credit: .