Cirencester Couple Killed In Incident
A plane crash in the south of France which led to the deaths of two Britons need to be fully investigated, an aviation law expert at Irwin Mitchell has demanded.
Married couple James and Jacqueline Balmer from Cirencester, Gloucestershire, were killed after the Piper PA-39 twin-engine aircraft they were travelling in came down on Mont Agel, close to Monaco, on Friday morning (June 17th).
According to witnesses, the aircraft had been flying at a low altitude before the incident, which occurred when the plane – piloted by Mr Balmer – was flying from Italy to Troyes.
The wreckage of the plane was located after a four-hour search operation by French authorities, while the bodies of the couple were recovered by a mountain patrol unit.
Aviation law experts at Irwin Mitchell, who represent both people injured in plane crashes and the families of those killed in such incidents around the world, have expressed their concerns over what happened.
Jim Morris, a former RAF pilot and Partner in the Irwin Mitchell Aviation Law team, said answers are needed over how the incident came to occur.
He said: “As only a handful of details have been confirmed in relation to this crash, it is clear that more information is needed as to how and why it happened.
“Authorities in France need to work both quickly and thoroughly to carry out a full air accident investigation into this case, as any answers that can be provided will undoubtedly help to improve flight safety in the future.
“Issues of particular concern include the suggestion that the plane was flying particularly low, possibly due to adverse weather conditions such as fog in the area. It is vital that the Investigators identify why the aircraft was flying below the safety altitude in the mountainous terrain to determine if there was a fault with the aircraft , engines, flight instruments or some other factor such as airframe icing.
“No doubt the investigation will consider all factors but we hope that they can provide answers promptly to ensure lessons are learnt and no one else suffers in the same manner.
“This is a devastating tragedy and our thoughts are with Mr and Mrs Balmer's family.”