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Size and colour of plane contributed to mid-air collision

Cousins Nikkita Marie Walters, 13, and Katie-Jo Davies, 14, were on RAF "air experience" flights when their two light aircraft collided

The size and colour of a small training plane contributed to a crash that killed four people.

That’s the verdict of a coroner at an inquest into their deaths.

Watch Michael Walters, Nikkita Walter’s Uncle read a statement from her family

Katie-Jo Davies, 14, and Nikkita Walters, 13, cousins from Evanstown near Gilfach Goch, were killed on their first Air Experience Flight when the planes were suspected to have collided in mid-air over the Kenfig Nature Reserve, near Porthcawl, on February 11, 2009.

Instructors Hylton Price, from Bridgend, and Andrew Marsh, from Penarth, were also killed in the accident.

The inquest heard the planes did not see each other in time and collided in mid air during a training flight over the Kenfig Nature Reserve near Porthcawl on 11 February, 2009.

Michael Walters, Nikkita Walter's Uncle read a family statement after the inquest

The coroner at Aberdare recorded a narrative verdict.

Earlier inestigations by the AAIB and the MoD into the crash said the pilots did not see each other, highlighting the colour and size of the planes.

AAIB report said: “The physical size of the Tutor, together with its all-white colour scheme, would have made it difficult to acquire visually [be seen] in the prevailing conditions.

“It is likely that each aircraft was physically obscured from the other pilot’s view at various times leading up to the collision, thus opportunities to acquire [see] the other aircraft were limited to both pilots.”

Following its investigations the MoD recommended that a collision warning system should be installed on RAF tutor aircraft.

Speaking after the inquest, Nikkita’s uncle, Michael Walters, said he did not blame the RAF and that he thought the UK regulations made flying the “safest form of transport”.

He added: “All I ever wanted from this inquest was to make sure that no other family would have to suffer a tragedy like ours.

“The RAF recommendations now being put in place will hopefully achieve that goal”


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