Goodwood air crash: Investigation into tragedy which killed two comes to an end

The investigation into a tragic air crash which killed two people at Goodwood last year has come to a close.

On June 30, 2021, two men, a 65-year-old from Balls Cross, near Petworth and a 58-year-old from Gosport, sadly died when their light aircraft crashed shortly after taking off.

The man from Balls Cross was named as Stephen Kendall.

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A year later and an investigation carried out by the Air Accidents Investigations Bureau (AAIB) concluded that the crash was ‘not survivable’.

The remains of the air craft's engine

Shortly after take-off, the engine in the plane suffered a partial power loss which became more and more significant as the aircraft reached 300ft.

The AAIB’s report added that a safe flying speed was not maintained.

Part of the report read: “Examination of the engine could not find any faults that could have caused or contributed to the loss of power. The aircraft had sufficient fuel for the flight. Insufficient supply of fuel to the engine from the tanks could have caused the power reduction but the damage to the aircraft meant that it was not possible to establish the condition of the fuel system or level of fuel supply.

"It is also possible that a fault in the ignition system could have contributed to the power reduction, but the damage from the post impact fire meant that the integrity of the electrical system could not be fully assessed. Weather conditions were also conducive to carburettor ice forming on the taxi out to the runway. It is possible that carburettor ice formation caused the engine to lose power after take-off.”

Speaking at the time, county councillor and Petworth resident, Janet Duncton, said: “We are a real community in Ebernoe and Balls Cross and when a tragedy happens we all feel the pain. As is the way in small communities we have known the family since childhood. The whole community is shocked and everyone’s thoughts are with the family.”

According to the BBC, a pilot who had taken off from Goodwood Airfield shortly before the crash could see black smoke reaching ‘100ft’.

Several units from Sussex Police, West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service and South East Coast Ambulance Service were in attendance.