By Humphrey Carter

CIVIL Aviation yesterday announced that the investigation into the tragic ultra light accident which claimed the life of British resident Royce Sutton and his Argentine passenger Bruno Mendoza is likely to be closed this week.

Crash investigators would normally be sent from Madrid to investigate such accidents but it appears that the accident, which happened at 8.30 pm on Thursday night in Petra, was probably caused by human error as opposed to a mechanical fault.

It is understood that Sutton, who lived in Andratx and whose brother and father also live in Majorca, was an experienced pilot with an American multi-engine license and had been flying ultra lights for the past three months.

Sources at the ULM Es Cruce flying club in Petra, where all the members have been deeply affected by the accident, said that the Spanish-built ultra light was less than five months old. 47-year-old Sutton and Mendoza, a well known waiter at the Migi-Migi bar in the Port of Andratx, took off from the flying club at around 8.20 pm. He flew over Bonany and after about seven or eight minutes, just as he started his return to the club where a group of friends were waiting, tragedy struck.

According to sources close to the investigation, the theory is that Sutton most probably passed out while taking the ultra light through a dive and the aircraft fell to the ground on the Son Sant Andrei farm.

The ultra light apparently flipped over on impact and caught fire.
Eyewitness told the Guardia Civil that on spotting a large column of smoke from the crash site they immediately called the police.
Civil Aviation and the Guardia Civil are expected to confirm the exact cause of the crash over the next few days.
Sutton and his family are well known on the island and have all been stunned and shocked by the accident. It is understood that consular assistance is being provided to Sutton's family by British Consulate staff in Palma.


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