Norfolk

Pilot in fatal crash at Old Buckenham had 'heart problem'

David Jenkins Image copyright Wildcat Aerobatics
Image caption Pilot David Jenkins, who died in the crash, was an aerobatic champion

An aerobatics pilot, who died when his plane crashed at a Norfolk airfield, was suffering from an "undiagnosed heart condition", investigators said.

David Jenkins, 61, of Stanton, near Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, died when his Edge 360 plane crashed at the Old Buckenham airfield on 22 April 2015.

The Air Accidents Investigation Branch report says there was no mechanical fault with the aircraft.

It adds Mr Jenkins had a "serious" undetected heart condition.

This may have made him lose control of the plane at a "critical stage of the flight".

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Image copyright Mustard TV
Image caption The plane crashed during a press day for an airshow

Mr Jenkins was flying the plane as part of a press day for an airshow.

He was "flying a series of aerobatic manoeuvres" and failed to recover correctly from a "tumbling manoeuvre and inadvertently entered a spin", says the report.

It adds: "The pilot made no apparent attempt to recover from the spin and suffered fatal injuries in the ground impact."

At the time of the crash, Mr Jenkins was described by fellow pilots as "highly skilled".

Image copyright PA
Image caption The area was cordoned off following the crash

Oxford-educated Mr Jenkins had twice held the British advanced aerobatics title.

His wife Elaine said it was "with great sadness we wish a husband, a father, a son, a brother and a friend fair winds and blue skies".

Mr Jenkins had been flying since he was a teenager.

He was a member of the Wildcat Aerobatic Team, based at Old Buckenham Airfield, near Attleborough, where the event took place.

Image copyright Geograph/Adrian S Pye
Image caption The plane was operating from Old Buckenham Airfield in Norfolk

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