NOW will they listen?
PUBLISHED: 16:27 02 April 2008 | UPDATED: 11:37 12 August 2010
A MAN who witnessed the horror of the Farnborough plane crash close-up has branded flight paths in the area as out of control . Jason Murrell, 39, made eye contact with the victims of the Cessna Citation 501
By Kate Nelson, Kate Mead & Marina Soteriou
A MAN who witnessed the horror of the Farnborough plane crash close-up has branded flight paths in the area as "out of control".
Jason Murrell, 39, made eye contact with the victims of the Cessna Citation 501 shortly before it ploughed into a house in Romsey Close, Orpington, killing all five on board on Sunday.
He said: "This is the worst thing that has happened since we've lived here. People are scared about it. It's a miracle that it didn't wipe out the school or the hospital.
"I'll definitely fight any expansion but I would have before this even happened. It's out of control."
The father-of-two had returned from shopping with his wife Donna, 25, and their two children to their home in nearby Hale Road minutes before the accident. All passengers - David Leslie, Richard Lloyd and Christopher Allarton - died in the accident along with pilots Mike Roberts and Mike Chapman.
Mr Murrell said: "When I looked out the window I saw the plane was very low. I knew it would come down, it was just a question of where.
"I shouted for the girls, I ran out into the garden screaming and looking for them. It all seemed to be going in slow motion. The plane was coming in and I could hear the engine problems.
"I saw the faces of the people in the plane, we were eye-to-eye. I could see they knew they were going to crash.
"I've often thought the planes fly too low. When the Air Fair is on the Red Arrows come very low.
"I thought one of these days something is going to come through the roof but you never believe it will happen. The pilot did everything he could."
Mrs Murrell added: "There shouldn't be so many flights. It was very close when it came in. We saw the people in the plane as it was bumping up and down. I've had to do a lot of explaining to my children."
Other residents spoke of their fear and said they did not want any more planes. The airport is currently operating at just over half its capacity, with potential for another 50,000 flights per year.
Resident Hayley Bonard, 18, of Isabella Drive, said: " The planes fly well low, it's really dangerous.The planes sometimes skim the trees and there's at least one crash a year. It's scary that the hospital is so close."
Lee Charles, 18, also of Isabella Drive, said: "If that had been a school day and a few yards over then it would have taken the school out and killed a lot of children."
One 42-year-old mother of three, who did not want to be named, said: "During the Air Fair, we can see the people in Red Arrows planes. We are never here now when the show is on. I am too scared."
Members of campaign group Flight Path demanded that Bromley council ends talks with Biggin Hill over extending the times externally-based aircraft are allowed to land.
Ray Watson of Flight Path said: "It is sad that it's taken this terrible tragedy to bring a focus on safety at Biggin Hill Airport.
"Time and again the residents at Bromley have said that they don't want expansion at Biggin Hill."
MP for Orpington, John Horam, who visited the site of the crash on Monday, said the council is inundated with letters from worried residents.
He said: "I hope this incident will be taken in to account. There is a safety issue along with congestion and noise issue if they allow it to expand. We have resisted the expansion successfully so far and will continue to fight it. "
A spokesman for Biggin Hill Airport said: "Aircraft have been flying from Biggin Hill for nearly 90 years and the airport has an excellent safety record.
"The Citation twin-engine jet was on the route for incoming aircraft that has been followed since the airport was built in the 1920s.
"Thousands of flights are in the air over Europe and in and out of London everyday and seven per cent of them are business aviation flights which have an excellent safety record, on a par with scheduled airline services. This was a most unusual event for twin-engine business jets, anywhere in the world.
"Biggin Hill Airport rescue and fire fighting team was first on the scene at the accident and has been commended by senior officers of the London Fire Brigade. It is not the duty of the airport to attend accidents that are not at the airport, but our crew was already alerted for the aircraft to arrive and used their initiative to act. They were assisted to the site of the crash by members of the public and we would like to thank the public for their support at this difficult time."
The bodies of the crash victims were recovered on Monday and taken to Princess Royal University Hospital, Farnborough."
Emergency workers say that no black box flight recorders were on the craft as they are not required for private jets.
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