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Moving tributes to victims of air crash

PUBLISHED: 18:11 14 May 2008 | UPDATED: 09:06 12 August 2010

Bromley
08-05-08
RAF Chapel, Biggin Hill
Farnborough air crash memorial service

Bromley 08-05-08 RAF Chapel, Biggin Hill Farnborough air crash memorial service

A MEMORIAL service to commemorate the lives of five people who died in a plane crash was held at an airport chapel. Families, colleagues and politicians attended the service for the victims of the Farnborough air crash, at St George s Royal Air Force Cha

Bromley
08-05-08
RAF Chapel, Biggin Hill
Farnborough air crash memorial service

A MEMORIAL service to commemorate the lives of five people who died in a plane crash was held at an airport chapel.

Families, colleagues and politicians attended the service for the victims of the Farnborough air crash, at St George's Royal Air Force Chapel at Biggin Hill last Thursday.

Christopher Allarton, 25, David Leslie, 54, Richard Lloyd, 63, and pilots Michael Chapman, 57, and Michael Roberts, 64, died on March 30 when their plane crashed onto a house near Biggin Hill airport.

The family of Mr Allarton, the youngest of the victims, travelled from Newark in Nottinghamshire to attend the special service which included a Spitfire flypast. Christopher's father, Richard, said: "It is humbling that people were moved to do this for our son and the people on the aircraft.

"It is trite to say it but it is hard to describe the loss of our son. I know people who have lost a daughter and you think it is the great anguish and pain. But it is more of an emptiness."

"Christopher and his partner, Jane, lived in Coventry and we would see him on weekends. Now sometimes we think he will be home this weekend but we realise he isn't.

"He texted me about two hours before the crash, asking me if Bradley Smith had won in the MotoGP 125cc series.

"I was an RAF engineer and I obviously have a technical interest in the crash and will wait and read the full report from the investigation."

Christopher's sister, Katy, 23, who read out You Can Shed Tears, a poem by David Harkins, said: "It is really sad but lovely that people have gone to all this effort. It is difficult being here, as it is so close to where it happened. He would have got a kick out of this.

"When we were little we used to go to air shows. We just feel he should be here."

According to the Air Accident Investigations Branch (AAIB) report published last month, the crash happened after the Cessna Citation 500 got into difficulty a minute after leaving the airport. It crashed into an empty house in Romsey Close, Farnborough.

There were emotional scenes when the families met owners of the house, now demolished, Ed and Patricia Harman.

Mr Harman, 72, and Mrs Harman, 68, are in temporary accommodation.

Mrs Harman said: "I'm feeling terrible about it all. It is really upsetting because they have lost more than us. Since the accident I have been up and down and round and round."

marina.soteriou@archant.co.uk

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