Pilot sent a text message moments before crash warning of loss of control.
Muhammed Naviede lost control of his Piper Tomahawk last August as it went into a tail spin and crashed into fields.
The businessman pilot was ‘receiving death threats’ two weeks earlier. 60-year-old Naviede sent a text message moments before the crash, warning his brother that his plane was out of control and about to go down. Two minutes later he was dead in the wreckage of his light plane after it entered a fatal spin and crashed into a field near the village of Padbury, Bucks.
A Coroner’s inquest is reviewing suggestions of unlawful killing, after it emerged that Muhammed Naviede was an experienced pilot receiving death threats.
The Daily Mirror reports:
The message to his brother Pervaiz: “I’m in a plane out of control and it’s going down.”
Father-of-two Mr Naviede had tried to call his brother from his mobile phone just moments earlier.
For two minutes after the message was sent the plane continued in level flight before it went into a fatal spin, investigators found.
The 148-character message was written within 25 seconds, which the Air Accident Investigation Branch said “would require considerable dexterity, especially in an aircraft that may have been out of control”.
Mr Naviede, who once had a personal fortune estimated at £117 million also told family members and a solicitor that he received death threats in the weeks leading up to the crash, it was said.
His daughter Raquelle Gracie, who came fifth in the 2007 series of the X Factor with girl band Hope, attended the pre-inquest hearing in Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire.
The coroner was told Mr Naviede was an experienced pilot and would have been able to regain control of an aircraft that went into spin.
Bob Moxon Browne QC, representing one of Mr Naviede’s life insurers, said an inquest jury should be directed to consider a verdict of unlawful killing.
Mr Moxon Browne told the hearing: “If someone says someone threatened you and in two weeks you are dead, you’d want to put that to the jury.”
Investigators found no fault with the aircraft and no evidence of third party involvement, the inquest heard.
On the day of the crash, Mr Naviede flew from Elstree, Hertfordshire and was due to return later but called up to say he would not be returning and did not book an alternative destination.
The plane took off from White Waltham near Maidenhead shortly after 5pm and just south of Buckingham he began to fly in a circle for almost an hour, during which time he made a number of calls on his mobile.
He sent out a Mayday distress call, saying: “Lost control of the aircraft and it’s gone into a spin” and then confirmed his location to the controller before saying: “I can’t control it.”
Mr Naviede was the former head of trade finance company Arrows which folded in 1991 owing more than £100 million to overseas banks and creditors.
In 1995 he was jailed for nine years after an Old Bailey jury convicted him to seven charges of fraudulent trading, obtaining property and services by deception, and making false statements to obtain bank facilities.
A full hearing into the tragedy will take place in December.
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