Pilot in court after deadly crash on Portugal beach

2017-08-03 18:06
The light plane that made an emergency landing on a packed beach near Lisbon. (Screen grab: SkyNews)

The light plane that made an emergency landing on a packed beach near Lisbon. (Screen grab: SkyNews)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Lisbon - A flight instructor and trainee pilot of a small plane that crash landed on a crowded beach near Lisbon, killing a man and an eight-year-old girl, appeared in a Portuguese court on Thursday.

The two men refused to speak to reporters as they arrived at the building in Almada, across the River Tagus from the Portuguese capital, to be questioned by a prosecutor behind closed doors.

The pilot and instructor could be charged following the interview, with legal experts speculating on a possible charge of negligent homicide. It carries a prison sentence of up to 16 years.

Terrified sunbathers ran for their lives, some of them into the sea, as the plane flew onto Sao Joao da Caparica beach on Wednesday after having mechanical trouble.

The plane hit an eight-year-old girl and a 56-year-old man, killing them instantly, authorities said.

"The plane first hit the man, who had his back to it. Immediately after it lifted up and when it descended again it hit the child's head," Filipe Janeira, 34, who was at the beach, told daily Jornal de Noticias.

The girl was with her parents, who were unhurt, and was on her way to take a swim in when she was hit.

Beachgoers surrounded the plane after it came to a halt on the sand and confronted the two men inside.

"The girl's father and other people went to the plane and started hitting the rear," witness Celia Rocha told daily newspaper Correio da Manha.

"The man called the pilot a criminal, he was in despair. It's a miracle more people did not die," she added.

The instructor and pilot were unhurt and were led away from the Cessna CS-AVA plane by police for questioning. They were not arrested.

The instructor could be heard telling a control tower that the plane had suffered engine failure and was going to make an emergency landing, according to a recording broadcast on Portuguese television.

Read more on:    portugal  |  plane crashes  |  accidents

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.