Aeorbatic roll pilot filmed his own accidental death
Published 23/11/2011 | 15:11
AN amateur pilot filmed the plane crash that killed him and his friend after they attempted to perform aerobatics in a biplane, an inquest in Britain has heard.
Edouard Dupont, 40 and Xavier Franiatte, 31, crashed into woods near Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire, on July 10 last year.
The flight, attempted aerobatic roll, and crash was filmed on a video camera mounted on Mr Dupont's helmet.
But it was unclear who was piloting the dual-control silver Stampe aircraft when it started to perform the roll.
The pilot lost control, entering an inverted spin, and crashed upside-down into the trees.
Air Accidents Investigation Branch senior inspector Andrew Blackie told a jury at Oxfordshire Coroner's Court: "What we have here is the entry into a manoeuvre, the loss of control in the manoeuvre, and then the failure to recover that loss of control."
Both pilots were licensed with 200 hours of basic flying experience and had taken a small amount of private aerobatic training.
"Neither of them had enough experience to recover from an inverted spin at that altitude," said Mr Blackie, who analysed the video of the flight.
They entered the roll at an altitude of about 3,500 feet, keeping within the flying restrictions in the area.
But at that height the pilot would have only 15 seconds to recover, according to Mr Blackie, an experienced pilot.
"This is not a very long period of time for a pilot with flying experience of about 200 hours to recover," said Mr Blackie.
"These are not competition aerobatic pilots.
"It is not a place that I would choose to do aerobatics.
"You want to have enough height from the ground to sort out anything that goes wrong but if you were to go any higher, you would be in the airspace that is reserved for the aircraft coming out of Heathrow."
It was only 37 seconds after the pair, both of south west London, began the roll that they crashed into the trees, the jury was told.
Mr Franiatte died almost instantly from head injuries while Mr Dupont, an investment banker, was taken to the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford, where he died later of his multiple injuries.