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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 25006
Last updated: 22 June 2018
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Time:16:30 local
Type:Silhouette image of generic PA31 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Piper PA-31-350 Chieftain
Owner/operator:Group Lotus Car Companies
Registration: G-LCCO
C/n / msn: 31-7812082
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Earl Stonham, 5 miles E of Stowmarket, Suffolk -   United Kingdom
Phase: En route
Departure airport:Stapleford, Essex (EGSG)
Destination airport:Hethel, Norfolk
Written off (damaged beyond repair) when crashed at Earl Stonham, 5 miles East of Stowmarket, Suffolk on 20/8/1980. Per the official AAIB report into the crash, G-LCCO dived towards the ground at high speed, and was seen to break up in the air at 2,500 feet. It was reported that the engines separated from the wings, and the wings from the fuselage.

The pilot, who was the sole person on board, was killed; the aircraft was returning to its base at Hethel, Norfolk, from Stapleford, Essex, where it been undergoing an overhaul

("Sadly he perished when both engines detached from the airframe at some stage on the way round a loop. I recall the engines were separate from wreckage of the rest of the aircraft. The AAIB were able to compute the amount of "G" that was pulled which was well beyond the normal limits.NEVER do aerobatics in an aircraft which is not approved to do such maneuvers").

It was concluded by the AAIB that the accident was caused by the pilot attempting to recover from a dive, whilst flying at a speed considerably in excess of the aircraft's permitted maximum. The excessive speed resulted from the loss of control of the aircraft, most probably following an attempt to perform a prohibited aerobatic manoeuvre. Specifically the pilot attempted to loop the Piper PA-31, which is aircraft is not designed to do.

Damage to airframe: Although the AAIB report confirms that "the aircraft was destroyed by the combined effects of break-up in the air, and the subsequent post-impact fire", the registration G-LCCO was only belatedly cancelled by the CAA as "destroyed" 5/12/1983 - three years later.


1. AAIB:
2. CAA:

Revision history:

27-Sep-2008 01:00 ASN archive Added
22-Dec-2012 18:26 Dr. John Smith Updated [Cn, Location, Phase, Nature, Departure airport, Source, Damage, Narrative]
19-May-2013 12:54 Dr. John Smith Updated [Time, Nature, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
23-Oct-2015 14:25 Dr.John Smith Updated [Source, Embed code]
23-Oct-2015 14:30 Dr.John Smith Updated [Source, Embed code]
23-Oct-2015 14:36 Dr.John Smith Updated [Source]
23-Oct-2015 15:40 Dr.John Smith Updated [Location, Source, Narrative]
26-Sep-2017 18:58 Dr. John Smith Updated [Source, Narrative]

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