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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 34723
Last updated: 2 June 2020
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Type:Silhouette image of generic PA34 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Piper PA-34-220T
Owner/operator:Channel Airways Ltd
Registration: G-BMNT
C/n / msn: 34-8133029
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 3
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Rowley Mile Course, Newmarket, Suffolk -   United Kingdom
Phase: Initial climb
Departure airport:Rowley Mile Course, Newmarket, Suffolk
Destination airport:Goodwood Racecourse, West Sussex
Investigating agency: AAIB
The plane nose-dived just after taking off from Newmarket Racecourse, Newmarket, Suffolk. There are two courses at Newmarket divided by a ditch and a 25 foot high dyke, known locally as the 'Devil's Ditch'. Witnesses on the July Course west side of the dyke heard the aircraft engines running and looked up as the take off began. They saw the aircraft accelerating along the runway and described seeing it bumping and bouncing an unusual amount. One witness then saw dirt or dust thrown up under the right main wheel and a short time later the aircraft became airborne.

The passengers reported that there were several hops into the air followed by the nose pitching down, the last of which resulted in a hard impact with the ground and an associated loud noise. Ground marks found on the runway showed that the right propeller was striking the ground for a period of one fifth of a second during the latter stage of the take off.

The aircraft then became airborne and immediately started to turn to the right crossing low above the course railings running along the side of the strip. Smoke or vapour was seen to come from the right side of the aircraft which climbed only slightly before disappearing from view beyond the dyke.

Witnesses on the Rowley Mile Course, on the east side of the dyke, heard the take off but could not see the aircraft until it was crossing the dyke. They saw it hit the dyke and then cartwheel onto the ground below where a severe fire broke out.

The passengers were in the two rear seats, facing forwards, and were able to escape through the rear baggage hatch which had come partially open in the impact. The pilot was seated in the left forward seat and was not able to escape from the aircraft. One of the passengers attempted to assist the pilot from outside the aircraft but was unable to do so because of the intense heat of the fire. Two jockeys aboard managed to escape, the trapped pilot died in the ensuing fire.

Registration G-BMNT cancelled by the CAA on 14/6/2000 as aircraft "destroyed". According to some press reports the accident resulted in the death of its pilot Mr Mackey, the total loss of that plane and injury to the two passengers Mr Frankie Dettori and Mr Ray Cochrane

There was also a later court case as a result of this crash, which resulted in the awarding of 308,760 plus costs to the next of kin of the pilot.


1. NTSB Identification: NYC00WA154 at
2. AAIB:
3. CAA:

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: AAIB
Status: Investigation completed
Download report: Final report

Revision history:

24-Oct-2008 10:30 ASN archive Added
27-Mar-2009 02:59 XLerate Updated
23-Nov-2012 15:09 Dr. John Smith Updated [Time, Cn, Location, Source, Narrative]
23-Nov-2012 15:30 Dr. John Smith Updated [Departure airport, Source, Narrative]
23-Nov-2012 15:31 Dr. John Smith Updated [Source]
25-May-2013 00:06 Dr. John Smith Updated [Source, Narrative]
25-May-2013 00:14 Dr. John Smith Updated [Source, Narrative]
09-Jul-2016 00:38 Dr.John Smith Updated [Time, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]

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