GA aircraft cliff crash in Cornwall

Last Saturday at around 4.10pm, a small aircraft slammed into the cliffs above the water near Porthreath, on the North Cornwall coast, killing experienced pilot Andrew Stillwell-Cox and his border collie Archie upon impact.

At the time of the crash, visibility was described as being excellent and that Stillwell-Cox would have been able to not only see the cliff in time but he would have had plenty of time to also take evasive action to avoid them. After the accident, the Daily Mail quoted an inspector as saying:

One of the lines of inquiry the investigation is looking into is the possibility of suicide, based on a letter that was left.

However, police have also added that the aircraft could have suffered a mechanical failure.

Its not known for how long Stillwell-Cox had been a pilot as he was an ex-Royal Navy officer who saw active service in Sierra Leone and had served as a Leading Hand on the HMS Glamorgan during the Falklands War. Moreover and from the pictures shown of Stillwell-Cox in the Daily Mail and the other public information known about him, there does not appear to be any reason for him to commit suicide by flying his aircraft intentionally into a cliff.

Hence, perhaps the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) investigation will shed some light on what happened.

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