The UK’s Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) has concluded that when a pilot crashed into a cliff face on the Isle of Man it was “likely” a “deliberate act”.
The 64-year-old pilot was flying his Cessna 210M Centurion on July 17, 2023, near Bradda Head, when members of the public looked on in horror as the aircraft crashed into the cliff face.
A search and rescue operation was launched, but the following day local police confirmed that a man had died in the incident.
On December 7, 2023, the AAIB published an accident report which stated that, shortly after 11:30 am, the pilot took off from Ronaldsway Airport (IOM) and flew towards the to the southwest of the Isle of Man.
Witnesses saw the aircraft flying up and down the coast several times before the pilot entered a turn to the left. The wings then levelled, and the aircraft descended to strike the cliff at Bradda Head.
Several phone calls were made during the flight which indicated that the pilot had no intention of returning safely.
The investigation found no evidence of any technical faults that would have prevented the pilot from maneuvering to avoid the cliff.
According to the report, the pilot had been suffering from difficulties. initially with sleep and then with anxiety in the lead up to the flight.
Upon visiting his doctor he was prescribed medication, but he failed to disclose this and his difficulties to his Aeromedical Examiner (AME), who had last renewed his Class 2 flying medical in January 2023.
The report said, “had the AME been informed of the diagnosis and prescriptions given to the pilot, the medical certificate would have been suspended”.
According to the BBC, the pilot was a local man who worked as a financial advisor.