Disappearance of a Piper PA-28R-200-2 (G-EGVA) approximately 20 nm west of Le Touquet in France on 2 April 2022
The aircraft was one of seven taking part in a club ‘fly-out’ from Wellesbourne Mountford Aerodrome to Le Touquet in France. A line of highly convective cloud was forecast on the intended route and as G-EGVA approached the middle of the English Channel, one of its two occupants reported to London Information that they were in cloud. Neither of the pilots were qualified to fly in cloud and shortly after this transmission, the aircraft disappeared from radar.
An extensive search of the area was coordinated by the UK and French Aeronautical Rescue Coordination Centres, but neither the aircraft nor the two occupants could be found.
It is likely that control of the aircraft was lost when it entered the convective cloud and that it was substantially damaged on impact with the sea. The CAA has published an animation and podcast reinforcing the safety messages highlighted in the AAIB Special Bulletin S1/2022.