A HUNTER out stalking rabbits has claimed he heard ‘three explosions’ from the engine of an aeroplane that later crashed in Pedreguer, killing two French nationals.
The hunter told the Olive Press he heard ‘a very strange sound’ coming from the engine of the Cirrus SR22 four-seater aeroplane.
Police sources initially claimed ‘poor visibility’ due to ‘mist’ as the possible cause of the accident – but the hunter’s account could suggest engine failure as a possible cause.
It comes following the tragic incident in the hills near to Llosa de Camacho last Monday.
Residents of the Monte Solana area called emergency services saying a plane had gone into the mist and disappeared just before 4pm.
Members of the Grupo Rescate de Denia had to hike 400m to get to the remote area, where by 8pm a team of forensics, judicial police, Civil Protection and Guardia Civil arrived and confirmed the death of the two pilots.
The French nationals, aged between 60-70, were taking part in the Latécoère Rally that keeps alive the memory of the first airmail pilots who flew between France, Africa and South America.
The world’s longest air rally, the Latécoère also undertakes charitable projects and offers flights to children en route.
“This year’s edition of the Raid Latécoère-Aéropostale 2019 began on Saturday 14 September,” a statement from Latécoère Rally read.
“The 30 crews took off from Toulouse-Francazal airport to reach Castellon airfield in Spain.
“The day’s stage connected the Castellon aerodrome to the Mutxamiel aerodrome north of Alicante.
“The trajectory communicated at the briefing was to follow the coastline.
“But a crew did not arrive at their destination. The search was launched and the wreckage of the plane was spotted in the municipality of Pedreguer.
“Both occupants are dead. The circumstances of the accident are not known.
“The aircraft was a Cirrus SR22 equipped with the latest high-performance instruments, a regulatory technical visit had been carried out by an authorised workshop before the departure of the Raid Latécoère-Aeropostale.
The crew was recognised as experienced and authorised to fly on this aircraft by an authorised instructor.
“Our thoughts are, first and foremost, with the families and friends of our friends.
“Following the route of the pioneers of Aeropostale – Jean Mermoz, Antoine de Saint-Exupery, Henri Guillaumet – was for our friends as for all participants a dream.
“Each crew participated in the keeping alive the memory of Latécoère-Aéropostale lines and supporting cultural and charitable actions.
“Our friends were strongly attached to this cause.”