Sunday 19 November 2017

Girlfriend tells of 'nightmare' since co-pilot's death

Andrew Cantle with his girlfriend, Beth Webster
Andrew Cantle with his girlfriend, Beth Webster
Fire officers examine the scene of the fatal crash at Cork Airport in February 2011
Ralph Riegel

Ralph Riegel

BETH Webster is angry and upset at how she has been treated by her partner's former employer since his tragic death.

Her partner, Andrew Cantle (27), had just secured what he had hoped was his dream job when he was killed in the airplane crash in Cork last year.

"Since the accident, my life has been a living nightmare. Andy and I had a bright and promising future together and now I struggle to cope with life without him," Ms Webster told the Irish Independent yesterday.

A native of Sunderland in northern England, Andrew was an award-winning volunteer with the Royal National Lifeboat Institute but had set his heart on a career in aviation.

He was only in his first week co-piloting a Fairchild Metroliner -- operating a scheduled service for Manx2.com from Belfast to Cork -- when his plane crashed.

Along with the pilot Jordi Sola Lopez (31) and four passengers, he was killed as the aircraft disintegrated on impact.

Ms Webster said there isn't a single day that she doesn't think of Andrew and what happened in the dense fog at Cork Airport.

The families of the victims and survivors have tried to support each other, but Ms Webster remains bitter about how she has been treated by Manx2.com.

"My friends and family continue to help me through this ordeal, unlike Manx 2, from whom I have yet to hear a single word -- despite the fact that Andy was wearing their uniform and flying an aircraft in Manx 2 livery," she said.

Hero

Andrew's mother, Ann, described her son as "an all-action hero" who had wanted to fly since he was a small boy.

Andrew's father, John, said he was so proud of his son when he succeeded in his dream of getting a job as a co-pilot after painstaking training programmes.

"We cannot bring back what we have lost but, if this stops other families going through what we have had to this year and in future years then at least a part of Andrew will be remembered," he added.

Irish Independent

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