NAMED: Two die as Cornwall based aircraft ditches in sea off Jersey
Two people have died after a light aircraft based in Perranporth ditched into the sea off Jersey, police have confirmed.
Officers said the two victims were travelling to Dinan in France from the Channel Island.
When the plane crashed in poor visibility, Devonport based HMS Northumberland, which was in the area at the time, joined RNLI crews and police in the search for survivors.
The names of the two dead people have been confirmed as Carl Whiteley and his wife Kathryn, who it is understood owned a holiday home overlooking the Gannel Estuary near Newquay.
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Mr Whitely held a pilot’s licence and listed flying, skiing and Nottingham Forest among his interests.
The couple had two children and lived in Ilkeston, near Derby. Mr Whitely is the former company secretary for Creo UK and Europe Ltd, based in Derby. He helped found financial consultancy firm Belmont Regency.
Co-founder Brett Hannon said the team was devastated by the news.
“Carl jointly founded the company in 1982 with myself and apart from being business partners for over 31 years, Carl was a close friend who will be greatly missed.
“The fondest memories will remain with myself and our staff of our dear departed colleague.”
The air-and-sea search operation was launched following the incident this morning about five miles west of Jersey airport.
It involved RNLI crews and Devonport based HMS Northumberland.
A States of Jersey Police spokesman said it was now known two people had perished.
“Following a comprehensive search and rescue mission by the RNLI, fire and rescue service, Channel Island Air Search and assisted by private boats and HMS Northumberland, we now believe there were no survivors of this morning’s light aircraft crash.
“The States of Jersey Police will now be working alongside the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) to establish what happened.
“We have yet to formally identify the people on board but believe them to be two UK residents.
“Family liaison officers from Jersey are supporting the family of those we believe to be involved. We ask that those families are given privacy.”
The UK-based and American-registered Cessna plane ditched in poor weather this morning, it was said.
A spokesman for Jersey airport said: “Search and rescue vessels, including Channel Islands Airsearch, a UK rescue helicopter and a French rescue helicopter are currently assisting in the search-and-rescue operation, as well as lifeboats and other available watercraft in the vicinity.
“Coastal visibility is poor at present but we understand that in the area being searched visibility is better.
“As a result of the incident, flow control has been implemented at Jersey airport, which could cause some delays for commercial flights.”
Mr Whiteley had previously attempted to sell a quarter share of the aircraft, which was based at East Midlands Airport, for £25,000.
The listing on aviation classifieds website www.afors.com listed the planes various equipment stating the plane had a range of “over 1,000 miles”.