Buckingham, United Kingdom – A helicopter and a light aircraft, identified as a Cessna 152, collided over Buckingham in 16th November, killing four. The names of the dead have not yet been released, but many suspect Lord Jacob Rothschild to be one of them, the chairman of the Waddesdon Manor, located just an hour away from the crash. Jacob is the manor’s fourth Baron Rothschild since his ancestors – a famous banking family – bought the property in 1874. The police said they were trying to trace the victims’ next of kin.
Another member in the family, who did not want her name published, said the crash missed her by five minutes. She said she heard a large bang which she thought was a car-crash, and that she was shocked to find out what had happened. Five minutes earlier she was picking flowers on what would soon be a crash site, on the Waddesdon estate. A spokeswoman for the Waddesdon manor still claimed the crash had not happened on their grounds, though a member of the Rothschilds had confirmed it happened on their estate. Members of the Rothschild family have moved out from the manor, but many of them still live on the estate.
The air-fields air traffic control services were to be closed for three 30-minute periods on selected days between 7. and 30. November due to a “staff shortage.” The pilots were informed of this, and the crash occurred just thirty minutes after the latest closure. The Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) published a report admitting that the accident was caused by the pilot’s “misjudgment and lack of experience.” The helicopter pilot, however, is reported to have been “one of the country’s most respected instructors,” a long-time friend of the pilot told the Mirror. Both crafts came from Wycombe Air Park, near High Wycombe, a training site for new pilots. The Royal Air Force (RAF) Halton, located just 10 miles away, proclaimed no military aircraft had been involved: “We can confirm that neither of the aircraft concerned has a connection with either our air force nor the military, and this is as much as we know at this time.”
Out of the four dead there were two from each craft, in the helicopter there were reportedly one of the most respected pilots in the country, as well as a student he was instructing, and on the other we know that an inexperienced pilot was flying in the plane. It is thus highly unlikely that Jacob Rothschild is the fourth victim here, as, with his net worth of about $5 billion, he would likely have chosen a more professional pilot for his trips. There have so far not been reported other deaths than these four.
A parent resident in the area devastatingly wrote on Twitter, “Nothing like your heart stopping when you learn that a plane has come down literally 500 meters from your toddler’s nursery.”