Kent

Spanish plane crash: Cause of British pilots' deaths unknown

Simon Moores
Image caption Simon Moores was one of the UK's few banner-flying pilots

The cause of a plane crash in Spain which killed two British pilots remains unknown, an inquest has heard.

Simon Moores and David Hockings died in the crash on 9 January.

An inquest into Mr Moores' death heard their plane had hit a mountain in Errezil near the Spanish coast amid dense fog.

Coroner Ian Goldup, sitting at Canterbury Magistrates' Court, returned a conclusion of "unascertained" death for Mr Moores.

Mr Hockings, from Herstmonceux, East Sussex, and Mr Moores, 62, from Westgate-On-Sea, Kent, had been flying from Cascais in Portugal to Hondarribia airport when their light plane crashed on Mount Hernio.

Mr Moores, who was the brother-in-law of Bake Off star Paul Hollywood and who was one of the UK's few banner-flying pilots, posted pictures on his Twitter account during the flight, looking down on the Spanish mountains.

Image copyright Simon Moores
Image caption During the flight, Mr Moores posted pictures on Twitter of the Spanish mountains

During the inquest, Mr Goldup read evidence from Spanish witnesses, one of whom had been walking on the mountain at the time and heard the impact.

The coroner cited the "dense fog" covering the mountain on the day in question, but was unable to say why the British-registered Piper plane had collided with the mountain.

Mr Goldup said: "We do not know whether there was an engine problem, whether it was mechanical. We do not know why the accident occurred."

Despite the lack of clarity as to why the crash happened, the inquest was "probably the end" for Mr Moores' family, unless they decided to pursue civil action in Spain, the coroner said.

An inquest into the death of Mr Hockings is being held separately.

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