max temp: 12°C

min temp: 2°C


Beccles: Experts start to recover debris from tragic helicopter crash

10:07 16 March 2014

Scene of the Helicopter crash at Gillingham, Norfolk.

Scene of the Helicopter crash at Gillingham, Norfolk.

©Archant 2014

Experts scouring the wreckage of the helicopter crash which killed Conservative peer Lord Ballyedmond and three others will begin recovering crash debris today.


Two pilots killed in the crash on the Suffolk/Norfolk border were named as Carl Dickerson, chief pilot at Haughey Air Ltd, and Lee Hoyle, a co-pilot at the company, which was owned by the Tory entrepreneur who was one of the richest men in Northern Ireland.

The fourth man who died was Declan Small, 42, a foreman who worked for Lord Ballyedmond. He came from Mayobridge, Co Down.

Lord Ballyedmond’s AgustaWestland AW139 helicopter came down in thick fog in a field in Gillingham, near Beccles, at 7.30pm on Thursday.

A spokesman for the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) said: “We are plotting the distribution of the debris on the field before removing fuel from the helicopter to make it safe.”

It has emerged that Haughey Air Ltd had lodged a writ against AgustaWestland over concerns about a helicopter it supplied.

The case was lodged in September last year and is understood to have included concerns about in-flight mapping systems.

A spokesman for AgustaWestland said the company could not comment on possible defects with Lord Ballyedmond’s AW139 VIP helicopter but said it was investigating.

Norfolk Police confirmed that the helicopter took off from Gillingham Hall shortly before the crash.

The crash site is an area of between 150 and 200 square metres, including ploughed fields, the force said.

All four people on board the helicopter were pronounced dead at the scene after it crashed in a field containing a wooded area, Norfolk Police said.



Museum bosses have gone back to the drawing board following their lottery bid rejection.

Hopes of a multi-million-pound lottery windfall for Ipswich Museum have been dashed – forcing borough chiefs to reconsider the ambitious £23m project to transform the High Street campus.

Cannabis was found at Ipswich house

An illegal immigrant is facing a jail term after police found nearly 400 plants and seedlings at a cannabis factory set up in an east Ipswich house.

Orwell Bridge

A man from the Ipswich area has died after falling from the Orwell Bridge, police said today.

Suffolk County Council's cabinet arrived at Elstree today - the home of the Star Wars franchise.

The day after county councillors discussed cutting millions from the authority’s budget over the next two years, its cabinet members are on a £4,000 training course at the world famous Elstree studios.

Abellio Greater Anglia

Rail services running through Bury St Edmunds face delays of up to 25 minutes or cancellation due to a train fault.

Ben Gummer and Mark Pendlington at Ipswich rail station.

Campaigners seeking to improve rail services between East Anglia and London have insisted that the new report into infrastructure is good for the region – because it makes little reference to the route.


A broken down lorry is blocking the exit slip road from the A14 towards Felixstowe docks.

John Hobson, 65, of Mill Road in Colchester, who died following the crash

The partner of a man, who died following a crash in west Suffolk, has paid tribute to her “one true love”.

Alison Wheeler and Tony Brown.

Suffolk’s libraries are facing budget cuts of more than 11% over the next two years – but their chairman has pledged that no branches will be closed.

Nick Alexander, who died in the Bataclan massacre, in Paris, France. Photo: Foreign & Commonwealth Office/PA Wire.

The parents of Essex man Nick Alexander, killed in the Paris terror attacks two weeks’ ago, have released a statement ahead of a memorial service taking place in the French capital today.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages

Local business directory

Suffolk's trusted business finder

Property search

e.g. Oxford or NW3
Powered by Zoopla

Digital Edition

Read the Ipswich Star e-edition today E-edition

Great British Life

Great British Life
MyDate24 MyPhotos24