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Farnborough air crash verdict was 'as expected'

PUBLISHED: 11:12 09 June 2011

Christopher Allarton

Christopher Allarton

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The father of a 25-year-old man who died in the Farnborough air crash said the accidental death verdict at the inquest was expected and that he feels like his son is with him every day.

A jury returned the verdict last Wednesday into the crash on March 30, 2008 which claimed the lives of all five men on board.

The three passengers all worked for motorsport company Apex and were en route to Pau in France to test their Jaguar for the FIA GT3 European Championship.

Engineer Christopher Allarton, 25, had landed his dream job with Apex just a week before the crash after graduating from Coventry University.

After the inquest his father Richard Allarton said the verdict was as the family expected. He said: “He’s with us every day.

“The role played by the police liaison officer was absolutely crucial in us overcoming the initial grief and starting to try to build our lives back together.”

The inquest heard how the most likely cause of the crash was that the pilots switched one engine off thinking it was causing vibrations. And when they came to land they reduced power on the other engine but a missing rivet caused it to shut down.

Mr Allarton said the aircraft company Cessna said there had not been an occurrence of a missing rivet on the aircraft before, but he was concerned it could be a precursor to future failures.

The family received the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) report approximately six months ago, which Mr Allarton said gave them as full an understanding as the inquest did about the accident and its potential causes.

He said the AAIB had shown compassion and patience during the investigation, saying: “They have done an excellent job under the circumstances.”

He supported the AAIB’s recommendations, which include amending the emergency restart checklist.

Coroner Dr Roy Palmer will tell the appropriate authorities where lessons can be learned. They will have 56 days to respond to his comments.

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