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Plane death crash: Rivet may be cause

PUBLISHED: 18:30 26 May 2010 | UPDATED: 10:27 12 August 2010

A MISSING rivet might have been the cause of a plane crash which left five people dead and demolished a house, a report has found.

A MISSING rivet might have been the cause of a plane crash which left five people dead and demolished a house, a report has found.

The results of an investigation have been published more than two years after the Farnborough air crash, when a Cessna citation plane plummeted into Romsey Close Close, Farnborough on March 30 2008.

British Touring Car championship driver David Leslie, 54 and Apex Motorsport boss Richard Lloyd, 63, both died along with Christopher Allarton, 25, and pilots Mike Roberts, 63, and Michael Chapman, 57.

The report published by the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) stated the rivet head securing the left engine fuel cut-off lever had become detached at some time prior to the crash.

It also found that the crash would have been preventable if either of the engines had been relit in enough time to produce thrust away from the ground.

The report stated: "It is probable that a mechanical failure within the air cycle machine caused the vibration which led to the crew attempting to return to the departure airfield.

"A missing rivet head on the left engine fuel shut-off lever may have led to an inadvertent shutdown of that engine."

The house which the plane crashed into belonged to Pat and Ed Harman who were on holiday at the time.

Speaking on her return to see her destroyed home retired medical secretary Mrs Harman, now 70, said: "We are devastated by the loss of our property because we got married here and had our reception here. We've made a lovely life here- we've had all our friends around us, our neighbours, our grandchildren have lived here.

"But it was fate too that the house it hit was the only one unoccupied.

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