The plane crash near Blackbush Airport that killed three members of Osama bin Laden’s family on Friday, is “highly suspicious” according to pilot Simon Moores.
Moores says that the Phenom 300 jet, which crashed yesterday over a car auction site, “has every conceivable state-of-the-art safety function you can possibly imagine”.
Sky News reports:
He explained how the plane takes approximately 750m to 800m to land – but as Blackbushe’s runway is 1,300m, there should have been no reason for the aircraft to overshoot as it arrived from Milan’s Malpensa Airport.
Raising questions as to how the crash could have happened, Mr Moores asked: “Why, if (the pilot) thought his angle was completely wrong – which is what happened in this case – didn’t he power up the engines, simply go round, and try again?”
All four people on board the private jet were killed after it crash-landed on dozens of cars and burst into flames.
The plane’s pilot was a Jordanian national – and according to Hampshire Police, the three Saudi Arabian passengers were Osama bin Laden’s stepmother, sister and brother-in-law.
Arab media have named those relatives as Rajaa Hashim, Sana bin Laden and Zuhair Hashim, and it is thought they were visiting the UK on holiday.
In a statement, Saudi’s Ambassador to the UK wrote: “His Royal Highness Prince Mohammed bin Nawaf al Saud… has paid his condolences to the family and relatives of Mohammed bin Laden at Blackbushe Airport in Britain for the great loss they have suffered.”
Osama bin Laden, a former al Qaeda leader, was shot dead by US forces in Pakistan four years ago.
He was disowned by the bin Laden family in 1994 after Saudi Arabia stripped him of citizenship over his militant activities – and a few years later, he claimed responsibility for the 11 September attacks of 2001.
The bin Laden family is one of the most prominent business dynasties in Saudi Arabia, and it is thought Osama had many stepmothers, as well as more than 50 siblings.
Shortly after Friday afternoon’s accident, the Saudi Embassy said it was working with British authorities to investigate the incident and ensure the handover of the bodies for funerals and burials in Saudi Arabia.
No one on the ground was injured – but one witness said the jet resembled a missile as it came “flying down”.
Sky News footage shows the aftermath of the crash, with debris visible among dozens of damaged cars.
Andrew Thomas, who was paying for a car at the time of the crash, said it was an “aggressive fire” and there was “explosion after explosion”.
He added: “At one stage, it felt like the fire was going to rip across the whole car park.”
The Air Accidents Investigation Branch is looking into the cause of the crash.