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R-44 Crash

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R-44 Crash / 4 killed

Father and son die in helicopter crash




THE four people killed after a helicopter crashed into a South Cumbrian field were named today.


The tragedy happened in thick fog and driving rain on Friday night. But the helicopter was only discovered the following morning when a Polish farm worker found the wreckage.


Among the dead were father and son Peter John Patrick, 68, of Arkholme, near Carnforth and Andy James Patrick, 37, of Askwith, North Yorkshire.


The other men were named as Gary Priestley, 39, of Hipperholme, Halifax, and Tim Mark Newburn, 39, of Baycliffe Bridge, Brighouse, West Yorkshire,


The helicopter was a Robinson R44, which set off from Carnforth at about 7pm on Friday en route to Lochmaben, near Lockerbie.


It was reported missing later that night.


The men were believed to have been heading to a pheasant shooting trip.


Marian Kostha, 33, spoke of his grim discovery at Sill Field Farm in Gatebeck, near Kendal.


He said: “I was driving the Land Rover through the fields to feed the animals. The fog was very thick. I came across the wreckage of a helicopter.


“I saw four dead bodies around the wreckage. I was shocked. I didn’t know what to do so I called my boss and he called the police.


“I can still see what I saw in the field in my mind. I have never seen anything like it. It was horrible.”


The crash site was close to the M6 motorway and the flying conditions were treacherous due to thick fog and driving rain.


Mr Kostha said he called farm manager Ian Grisdale, 59, who went to the crash scene with his son John, nine.


Mr Grisdale said: “There was wreckage strewn over a 100-yard area. The propellers and the tail fin had been completely snapped off. A lot of fencing had been destroyed so I think it may have become caught in the fencing whileflying too low to the ground.


“As well as the wreckage there were four dead bodies. Two were in the wreckage of the helicopter and another two were lying on the ground nearby. There were no signs of life and I would imagine they died on impact. It was not very pleasant to see, especially for my young son.”


The land is owned by well-known South Lakes farmer Peter Gott, 51, whose farm supplies wild boar meat to Jamie Oliver.


Mr Gott was in Scotland at the time of the crash and he said: “Helicopters travelling in the area often follow the M6 motorway and on Friday night there was very thick fog.


“I have lived there for decades and know the fields well. The field where the helicopter has crashed is hilly.


“It would appear the helicopter has flown too close to the ground and caught a fence which has brought it down.”


Rescue teams were able to detect the approximate crash site through tracking the mobile phone usage of one of the occupants of the helicopter.


The records passed on by police gave them the co-ordinates from the phone’s last known activity.


Shortly after the search was deployed the aircraft was located by a farmer.


An inquest into the deaths is expected to be opened by Furness and South Cumbrian coroner Mr Ian Smith later this week.


The helicopter wreckage has now been moved to Farnborough, Hampshire, to allow a full investigation to be carried out by the Civil Aviation Authority.


Anyone who witnessed the crash or has any information is asked to contact police on 0845 33 00247.


Posted by Richard at





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