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Inquest to open into deaths of couple killed in plane crash

Lewis and Sally Tonkinson died when their aeroplane came down near Popham Airfield Credit: ITV Meridian

An inquest is due to open into the deaths of a couple who died when their light aircraft crashed in Hampshire.

Lewis Tonkinson and his wife Sally were travelling from Bembridge on the Isle of Wight when the aeroplane came down near Popham Airfield near Basingstoke in January last year.

Their son survived the crash.

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Cause of plane crash still unknown

The air accident investigation branch hasn't determined the cause of a plane crash off the Kent coast. Its report noted the pilot Sascha Shornstein was worried about the weather before taking off from Hampshire for France last July.

Map shows the location of the crash Credit: ITV Meridian

The 36-year-old's body was never recovered. The AAIB said: "The lack of evidence that the pilot used the emergency parachute system and absence of any emergency radio transmission means thatpilot incapacitation could not be discounted as a factor."

Investigations into the crash Credit: ITV Meridian

The report said that, three weeks after the incident, a diver reported aircraft wreckage about nine miles from where the original floating wreckage was found.

Investigations into the crash Credit: ITV Meridian

Inquiries by the AAIB confirmed this was likely to be from the aircraft but the hazards of recovering it were "excessive for the limited new evidence it might provide".

Pilot killed in Hampshire plane crash named

The plane came down at Middle Wallop last month Credit: Nick Bayes

A 69-year-old pilot who was killed after his First World War replica plane crashed into an airfield in Hampshire last month, has been named as John Ray from Horsham, in Sussex. An inquest heard how he had to be identified by dental records.

Mid Hampshire Coroner Grahame Short - sitting at Chandler Ford - was told he died from multiple injuries. The inquest was adjourned to a date to be fixed.

For more on the story, click here.

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Plane in crash was involved in practice display

The aircraft was a single engine, single wing replica World War I aircraft which was involved in a practice display at the time.

The pilot, a 68-year-old man from Horsham, was the only person onboard. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

The investigation is being led by the Air Accident Investigation Branch with support from Hampshire Constabulary.

Anyone who saw the crash or the plane flying immediately beforehand is asked to contact Hampshire Constabulary on 101.

Authorities try to establish cause of plane crash

The pilot, the only person aboard the aircraft, died at the scene. The incident is being investigated jointly by Hampshire police and the Air Accidents Investigation Branch.

Officers were called at 4.55pm today after a civilian aircraft came down at the Army Aviation Centre. The pilot, who was the only occupant of the aircraft, was pronounced dead at the scene. Police are currently working with the AAIB to establish the cause of the crash and anyone with further information is asked to contact Hampshire Constabulary.

– Hampshire Police spokesperson
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