Plane crashes into Channel with two people onboard after leaving Stratford-upon-Avon

The Piper PA-28 aircraft plunged into the sea one hour into its flight, after taking off from Wellesbourne Mountford Airfield, near Stratford-upon-Avon. The 46-year-old plane was part of a group of aircraft heading to the northern French resort of Le Touquet on a day trip. A rescue operation was launched within minutes of the plane disappearing from radar screens.

However, the search for survivors was called off on Saturday evening, before resuming on Sunday morning.

A spokesman for the French emergency services said: “It crashed into British waters for an unknown reason.

“British Coastguard launched an operation supported by French aircraft and boats including the Abeille-Languedoc (Languedoc Bee) tug, which has been chartered by the French Navy.”

The private jet is owned by flying instructor Guy Wakeley, 51, who is also a well-known financial services boss.

Mr Wakeley is a member of the instructing and examining team at the South Warwickshire Flying School, which is based at Wellesbourne.

Ray Stock, head of training at the flying school, on Sunday refused to discuss who was on board the plane at the time of the crash.

Flight records show that the plane left Wellesbourne at 7.56am on Saturday and disappeared from radar over the Channel at 9.02am.

It comes after a pilot was injured in a plane crash near Oxford yesterday (Saturday).

The pilot has been taken to hospital.

No one else was injured in the crash.

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The force is asking anyone with footage or information to call 101 quoting 857 (2/4).

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