Leslie, Lloyd deaths 'accidental'
Date published : 02 Jun 2011 - 09:15:07
The deaths of former British Touring Car Championship stars David Leslie and Richard Lloyd have been ruled as 'accidental' by an inquest jury in Kent.
The pair were among five people killed on March 30, 2008 when the private jet they were travelling in to a test at Nogaro crashed shortly after take-off from Biggin Hill airfield.
The inquest heard that the Cessna aircraft's pilot, Michael Roberts, reported engine vibrations shortly after take-off and asked for permission to return to the airport. Shortly afterwards, it crashed into a house in Farnborough, killing all on board.
Mark Javis, a senior engineering inspector at the Air Accidents Investigation Branch, said that the vibration was probably caused by a failure of the air pressurisation system on board.
The jury said that the presence of a black box recorder would have helped with the investigation into the cause of the crash.
Leslie, who was 54, was the BTCC runner-up in 1999 for Nissan and also achieved numerous successes in the World Sportscar Championship in the 1980s.
Lloyd, 63, was also a multiple race-winner in the BTCC as well as a class champion. His Richard Lloyd Racing and Apex Motorsport teams also achieved success in sportscars and touring cars, the latter squad running the Audi UK operation that won the BTCC in 1996.
Killed along with Leslie, Lloyd and Roberts were Apex team member Christopher Allarton and co-pilot Michael Chapman.