Pictured: ‘Experienced’ British pilot, 66, who died when his plane crashed into the sea in ‘bizarre’ thick fog off the Spanish coast
- Paul Lowry, 66, went solo on a flight from Totana Airdrome, on Spain’s west coast
- Said to have hit thick sea mist that caused him to lose control of the plane
- The plane crashed into the sea with a canoeist helping pull his body out of the water
- Friends and colleagues paid tribute by describing Paul as a ‘very experienced pilot’
Friends and colleagues paid tribute to a British pilot who died yesterday when his plane crashed into the sea off a beach in Spain.
Paul Lowry, 66, died instantly in the accident near the port city of Cartagena.
A canoeist helped pull his body out of the water with the help of a second man who enjoyed a day out on his longboard. It was landed on a small boat that was nearby.
An autopsy would take place today and the results will be sent to a local court.
An investigation is underway into the cause of the crash, which is said to have occurred in dense fog.
Pictured: Paul Lowry, 66, who died instantly when his plane crashed into the sea off the west coast of Spain after hitting a ‘bizarre’ bank of thick sea mist that caused him to lose control of the plane
The dead man, originally from Smethwick near Birmingham and a former employee at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham before moving to Spain with his wife Anne, was directed by flights at the small airport he took off from shortly before his departure. described as an experienced pilot. light planes went down.
The alarm went off just before 11:30 am yesterday when Mr Lowry’s plane crashed into the sea at Descargador Beach, close to Cartagena, where the expat lived.
Shortly before the tragedy, it had taken off from Totana Airdrome near the town of Totana, about 100 kilometers northwest of the crash site.
Javier Martinez Pacheco, head of flights at the airport, said: “He was a very experienced pilot who had been flying for many years.
He was also a very serious pilot who never did anything crazy with his plane when he was on it.
Shortly before the tragedy, Paul had taken off from Totana Airdrome near the town of Totana, about 100 kilometers northwest of the crash scene.
‘You know there are risks associated with a hobby like flying, but what happened is of course very regrettable and tragic.
“We mourn the loss of a companion and suffer along with his family and feel absolutely devastated.
“Other people would fly with him, but ended up staying to do maintenance work and he went out alone.”
He added: ‘It appears he may have encountered a bank of sea fog along the coast in an area where it does not normally form and got into trouble as a result.
‘Paul was one of about seven Britons who are members of the Aeroclub Totana here.
“He was an excellent person who was also willing to lend a hand if needed.”
The first reports in the local paper that Paul performed aerial acrobatic stunts before the accident was destroyed by police sources and Mr. Martinez Pacheco.
He said, ‘Paul followed all the rules. He was very correct and responsible in the way he flew in this plane and in others he’d had before.
A spokesman for the Guardia Civil, the police investigating the accident, confirmed that an investigation was underway
“It looks like he just had bad luck and encountered a bizarre weather phenomenon that is unheard of in that area and that someone could have caused trouble by disorienting them.”
A spokesman for the Guardia Civil, the police investigating the accident, confirmed that an investigation was underway.
The Civil Aviation Accident and Incident Investigation Commission (CIAIAC), the Spanish national body responsible for air traffic investigation, will also conduct its own separate investigation.
Cartagena’s Mayor Ana Belen Castejon wrote on Twitter: ‘My sincere condolences to the friends and loved ones of the man who passed away.
“Unfortunately nothing could be done to save his life.”
Luis Martinez Escudero, one of the men who helped pull the Briton’s body out of the sea, told a local newspaper: “We saw a body floating face down in the water five minutes after the plane crashed.
“I put the body on the longboard I was sitting on with the help of a canoeist who also went to the same spot.
“We then transferred the dead man to a boat that turned up and took him to a nearby harbor.”
He also described the weather conditions at the time as ‘extremely foggy’.
Another pilot who left the airport shortly before the Briton who died yesterday morning, is said to have complained about low-hanging clouds.
A spokesman for a government-run emergency coordination center said, “We can confirm the death of a 66-year-old man who suffered a minor plane crash in Cala Reona, Cartagena municipality.”