Inquest Into London Pilot’s Death Concludes Evidence Does Not Sufficiently Disclose Why Aircraft Crashed

Family Have Always Been Convinced That The Aircraft Crash Was Due To Loss Of Control Causing an Inadvertent Spin

09.12.2015

The family of a 60-year-old man who died when the light aircraft he was flying spun out of control and crashed in a field in Buckinghamshire say the inquest reinforced their view that he lost control of the aircraft and it entered an inadvertent spin from which he was not able to recover.

Muhammad Naviede, from Regent’s Park in London, was piloting a Piper PA-38 Tomahawk when it came down in a field at Hedge’s Farm, north of Padbury, Buckinghamshire.

An inquest into his death at Buckinghamshire Coroner’s Court heard from over 20 witnesses, including four expert investigators from the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB), two aviation experts and a mobile phone forensic expert.

After hearing expert evidence and legal submissions, the Coroner, Mr Richard Hulett, was not satisfied that there was a safe case to go to the jury on suicide, so instructed the jury that a verdict of suicide was not available.

Following deliberation, the jury recorded a narrative verdict that stated that the evidence does not sufficiently disclose why the aircraft entered a spin from which it did not recover.

Jim Morris, a specialist aviation lawyer at Irwin Mitchell and former RAF pilot, who is representing the family, said:

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“Mr Naviede’s family have faced a very difficult 15 months since this tragic incident and the sudden loss of a loved one. As expected, this inquest has also been extremely difficult for them as they have heard the details of Mr Naviede’s last moments analysed in the court.

“Unfortunately, the PA38 aircraft that he was flying was not required to be fitted with a Flight Data Recorder (FDR) or a Cockpit Voice Recorder (CVR) which made the task for the AAIB to determine the causes difficult, if not impossible.

“It is clear from the contents of the AAIB report and the evidence heard at the inquest that there are a number of realistic possibilities which could explain the chain of events which, amongst other things, included a possible loss of engine power due to carburettor icing leading to the pilot entering an inadvertent stall (loss of lift) at a low speed which escalated to an aerodynamic spin which he could not recover from in the height available.

“Unfortunately, we will never know exactly what happened in this tragic accident but the inquest has given Mr Naviede’s family some element of closure and has reinforced their view that the accident was caused by Mr Naviede’s loss of control of the aircraft – possibly as a result of a loss of engine power.

“They are glad that the proceedings are over and are grateful to the coroner for being so thorough.”
Jim Morris, Partner