Tributes after friends' plane crashes in the English Channel - The Evesham Observer

Tributes after friends' plane crashes in the English Channel

Evesham Editorial 19th Apr, 2022   0

THE FAMILIES of two friends whose plane crashed after taking off from Wellesbourne Airfield are appealing for help in the hope of finding out what happened to their loved ones.

Brian Statham of Balsall Common and Lee Rogers from Stratford were flying to Le Tourquet in France on Saturday April 2 when their plane lost contact before crashing into the English Channel.

They had been taking part in a group fly-out with several other aircraft from the South Warwickshire Flying School, where the pair met ten years ago.

After encountering freak weather conditions over the Channel, contact with the plane was lost at around 10.30am.




An extensive search operation by British and French coastguards was called off on the Sunday evening.

An investigation is currently being carried out by the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB).


Brian’s flight bag from the plane was found by a tourist the following Thursday on the beach at Le Touquet.

The families have now called on anyone on the French and English coasts to keep a lookout for aircraft debris, clothes and personal items which could provide answers to what caused the tragedy.

The family of Stratford man Lee, formerly of Warwick, paid tribute to “a wonderful father, a loving husband, and a devoted family man”.

“Anybody who knew Lee will testify to a larger-than-life character who lived life to the full, a man with a big heart and limitless generosity.

“He will leave behind a large wake and will be missed greatly – not only by his family but his legion of friends and colleagues. Lee was and always will be a legendary figure in the IT world and the Warwickshire community.

“Not only a successful entrepreneur, known for his principled and uncompromising code of ethics, Lee was also a kind-hearted supporter of various charities. Most recently, Lee supported Guide Dogs, and raised not only a puppy, Dixon, that has gone on to qualify as a guide dog, but lots of money towards additional dogs.

“­But first and foremost, Lee was a family man. Sarah has been married to Lee for eight years and they had been happy for many years before. Not just a great marriage but great partners who shared genuine adventures. Ellie, Lee’s daughter, and the apple of his eye was his greatest joy.”

The family of Balsall Common man Brian paid tributes to a loving husband and father who ran his own business and spent more than 40 years in the motor trade repairing, fixing and servicing cars.

“Brian was one of the most caring, kind and honest men in the entire world. He always put his family and friends first and never said no to fixing or helping with any problem he’d come across.

“Brian leaves behind a son, Douglas, twin daughters, Ellen and Georgina, stepchildren Vickie and Jack, and a loving wife Jackie.”

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