No ‘spe­cific’ cause in Ar­gyll air crash

The Oban Times - - Front Page -

AN AIR crash that killed a young cou­ple re­turn­ing home to Tiree last April had no ‘spe­cific’ cause, an Air Ac­ci­dent In­ves­ti­ga­tion con­cluded this week.

GP Mar­garet Ann Rous, 37, and her hus­band David Rous, 28, were re­ported miss­ing af­ter their Piper Chero­kee plane crashed into rugged ter­rain on the western flank of the downs­lope of Beinn nan Lus, near to Taynuilt.

Mr Rous, who was pi­lot­ing the air­craft on April 4, 2015, was well trained and is said to have shown an ‘above av­er­age stan­dard’ and ‘a good level of abil­ity’ dur­ing his train­ing. He had pre­vi­ously shown a re­spon­si­ble ap­proach to poor weather when fly­ing from Tiree.

But in near freez­ing con­di­tions in some mod­er­ate cloud cover in de­te­ri­o­rat­ing weather con­di­tions, the re­port iden­ti­fies: ‘It is likely that the pi­lot re­alised it was not go­ing to be pos­si­ble to con­tinue the flight and de­cided to re­turn to Dundee (where he had taken off) or an­other air­field.’

The re­port states: ‘No spe­cific cause for the ac­ci­dent could be iden­ti­fied but the de­scent in In­stru­ment Me­te­o­ro­log­i­cal Con­di­tions, IMC, [us­ing in­stru­ments rather than look­ing out­side] with ex­treme air­craft at­ti­tudes sug­gests that the pi­lot was ex­pe­ri­enc­ing some form of spa­tial dis­ori­en­ta­tion; the recorded data and im­pact pa­ram­e­ters sug­gest that the ac­ci­dent oc­curred fol­low­ing a loss of con­trol, pos­si­bly in cloud.

‘Whether this was due to an at­tempted turn back ma­noeu­vre or sim­ply loss of con­trol in IMC is not known.

‘In ad­di­tion, the me­te­o­ro­log­i­cal con­di­tions were con­ducive to air­frame ic­ing, which had the po­ten­tial to de­grade the aero­dy­namic char­ac­ter­is­tics of the air­craft and thus may have been a fac­tor in this ac­ci­dent.’

Me­mo­rial ser­vices were held on the is­land for the pop­u­lar lo­cal cou­ple shortly af­ter the in­ci­dent.

Mar­garet Ann Rous and

hus­band David Rous.

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