Retired easyJet pilot is killed in stunt crash horror: Experienced airman ‘lost control’ of bi-plane during formation ‘stall turn’ trick and slammed into field
- Experienced pilot Angus Buchanan was killed near Headcorn Aerodrome in Kent
- Witnesses described his light aircraft losing control while performing stall turn
- Mr Buchanan worked as commercial pilot and was part of formation display team
Tributes have been paid to an experienced stunt pilot who has died after he lost control of his bi-plane and crashed in a field.
Angus Buchanan, who built and flew light aircraft, was killed in the accident in a field near Headcorn Aerodrome in Kent yesterday at around 4.30pm.
A witness saw the aircraft – a pre WW2-era Stampe biplane – crash at the site between Maidstone and Ashford in Kent.
He said the plane was one of three being flown, saying it appeared to ‘have performed a stall turn and lost control’.
Mr Buchanan became a commercial pilot in 1970 and was working with Easyjet when he retired in 2009, his website says.
He was also an experienced stunt pilot and a member of the Stampe formation display team.
Police say they were called to reports of a plane crash in the field in Kent yesterday afternoon and the air ambulance was dispatched but Mr Buchanan was pronounced dead at the scene
Pictured: Pilot Angus Buchanan has died after a plane crash near Headcorn Aerodrome in Kent
An investigation is underway to determine the cause of the plane crash yesterday afternoon
Pictured: Witnesses described how three plane were flying when one appeared to lose control
Paying tribute, the team issued a statement which read: ‘It is with deepest sadness that we have to announce the death of Angus Buchanan yesterday.
‘An active and long-standing display pilot with the Stampe Formation Team, Angus was an extremely experienced and talented aviator and engineer with many flying hours under his belt.
What is a stall turn?
A stall turn is an aerobatic turn manoeuvre performed by aircrafts.
It sees the aircraft enter a vertical climb at full power and maximum airspeed.
Just before upward motion stops, the aircraft is cartwheeled in a 180 degree spin until it’s nose is facing downward.
It then dives vertically until it reaches the same altitude it started at and exits in the opposite direction.
‘We have all lost a very dear friend who leaves a gap in all of our lives that can never be filled and all of our thoughts are now with his family to whom we send our most sincere and deepest condolences.’
The team describes itself as an air show act in the finest traditions of classical barnstorming aviation from the 1930s and 40s.
A formation of four open cockpit, aerobatic biplanes fly at speeds of up to 130mph and turn tightly in close formation in front of a crowd.
The show is said to include ‘exciting formation changes, dynamic breaks and a series of tail chases’.
Mr Buchanan recalled glueing his fingers to many airfix models before graduating to towing balsa wood aircraft behind his bike.
His profile reads: ‘Having learned to fly at Prestwick, with a long runway and ‘Airport Procedures’, relocation to Headcorn and a chance encounter with the Tiger club was a culture shock.
‘Something went right, leading to purchase of the fabled G-AWEF from the Tiger Club in 2004 – the log book of which is a who’s who of aviation’s good and great, the majority of whom cut their aerobatic teeth in this beautiful machine.’
Two fire engines were sent to the incident along with police and ambulance crews. The air ambulance was also sent to the scene.
A statement from Kent Police said: ‘At 4.25pm on Sunday, May 9, 2021, Kent Police was notified that a light aircraft had crashed in a field near Headcorn.
Police and fire crews on scene of the plane crash last night as an investigation was launched
Emergency service workers at the scene of the plane crash which killed Mr Buchanan
‘Officers attended along with South East Coast Ambulance Service, Kent Fire and Rescue Service and an air ambulance.
‘A man was pronounced deceased at the scene.
‘Officers are working with partner agencies including the South East Coast Ambulance Service and Kent Fire and Rescue Service to establish the circumstances.
‘The Air Accidents Investigation Branch has been informed.’