Chelmsford: Two Men Killed In Plane Crash

30 March 2014, 08:08 | Updated: 31 March 2014, 06:56

Two men have been killed after a light aircraft crashed into a field in a rural area near Chelmsford.

Emergency services were alerted to a major incident just before 3pm that a plane had gone down in a field in Cooksmill Green, which is between the towns of Ongar and Writtle in Essex. 

Witnesses described how the Yak 52 training aircraft had been attempting a somersault before getting into trouble. It then crashed and burst into flames

A spokeswoman said: "A plane came down down in a field near the A414 in Essex, causing a fire which the fire brigade was able to put out. 

"Two men, a pilot and his passenger, both from Essex were on board. The plane had flown out from North Weald airfield." 

The spokeswoman said that officers were in the process of locating and informing next of kin. 

Firefighters from nearby Chelmsford, Colchester and Maldon attended the scene.

Essex Fire and Rescue Service said the aircraft was "completely alight'' when firefighters arrived at the scene near Cooksmill Green. 

A spokesman said: "On arrival the incident commander reported that the plane was completely alight. 

"Crews used foam and had extinguished the fire by 3.55pm.''

Investigators from the Air Accident Investigation Branch (AAIB) will be investigating the cause of the crash.

Two people were also killed when a Yak 52 aircraft from North Weald crashed in April 2011. 

Instructor Simon Hulme, 33, and his 43-year-old student, Spencer Bennett, died when their plane crashed near Langford, east of Chelmsford. 

An inquest in Chelmsford in 2012 heard they were on the last day of a three-day formation flying school when the aircraft spun and plummeted from 1,800ft into a lake. 

The jury returned verdicts of accidental death after hearing nearly two hours of evidence. 

In January 2003, Falklands veteran Anthony Hunt, 48, died along with his brother Ian, 45, when their aircraft crashed in a field on the Easton Neston estate, near Towcester, Northamptonshire, while practising aerobatic manoeuvres. 

His family were awarded #270,000 damages by the High Court in 2006 after an investigation found that during maintenance a short screwdriver had become wedged into the wires that operated the rear elevators of the plane. 

The Yakovlev Yak 52 is a two-seater propeller aircraft first built in the Soviet Union in the 1970s. 

The former Soviet Air Force training aircraft is a popular plane for aerobatic flying around the world. 

It has a top speed of 223mph and a service life of 30 years, according to 

It is not known how old the aircraft which crashed yesterday was. 

Police said that immediate family of the deceased had been informed.