Poor Weather In Popham Air Crash

An inquest's heard a Dad told his young son to "brace" just before their light aircraft crashed into trees.

Lewis Tonkinson, 50, and Sally Tonkinson, 44, were returning from the Isle of Wight with their six-year-old son when the aircraft they were travelling in came down in woodland by Popham Airfield near Basingstoke in January.

The couple were pronounced dead at the scene of the crash, while their son George was treated at Southampton General for life-threatening injuries.

Nine jury members took less than half an hour to return a narrative verdict, as directed by coroner for North East Hampshire, Andrew Bradley.

Reading out the verdict, he said Mr Tonkinson had been ``flying his plane from Bembridge in the Isle of Wight to Bidford airfield near Evesham.

``He encountered poor weather conditions and a technical problem with the aircraft engine.

``In the course of attempts to land at Popham airfield in Hampshire, the engine seized and lost power, then collided with trees and crashed into the ground.''

The couple sustained injuries from which they died at the scene, he said.

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