A couple with a holiday home in Newquay died in a plane crash in Jersey yesterday.
Carl Whiteley and his wife Kathryn were on their way home from a holiday when their Cessna Crusader aircraft ditched five miles out to sea, in thick fog, while on approach to Jersey Airport at 10.20am.
A massive rescue operation was launched but Jersey Police later confirmed there were no survivors.
Mr Whiteley’s plane was registered in Perranporth, near the couple’s holiday home in Newquay, and kept at East Midlands Airport.
The couple lived in Ilkeston, Derbyshire, with their two daughters.
Last night Brett Hannon, managing director at Belmont Regency financial advisors and insurance brokers and Mr Whiteley’s business partner, paid tribute to his colleague, a director and senior financial advisor who had worked at the company for nearly 32 years.
He said: “We are dismayed to hear of the death of Carl Whiteley and his wife Kathryn, when the plane he was piloting crashed into the English Channel on a flight from Northern France to Jersey, on his way back home.
“Our thoughts are with his family at this tragic time. Carl jointly founded the company in 1982 with myself, and apart from being businesses partners for over 31 years, Carl was a close friend who will be greatly missed.
“The fondest memories will remain with myself and our staff of our dear-departed colleague.”
Mr Whiteley held a pilot’s licence and it has been reported that he was piloting the plane at the time of the crash.
It is thought that air traffic control lost contact with the plane about 20 minutes before it was due to land. Fifteen search and rescue vessels, the Channel Islands Airsearch, a UK rescue helicopter and a French rescue helicopter were scrambled to an area off St Ouen’s Bay. Divers spent most of today searching for the wreckage.
A statement from Jersey police said: “Following a comprehensive search and rescue mission we now believe there were no survivors. The States of Jersey Police will now be working alongside the Air Accident Investigation Branch to establish what happened.”