Pilot accused of manslaughter after crashing his Tiger Moth biplane while attempting a loop-the-loop.

NewsBy Neil Fetherston
A file photo of a Tiger Moth plane
A file photo of a Tiger Moth plane

A pilot has gone on trial in the UK for the manslaughter of his passenger who died when the Tiger Moth biplane he was flying crashed while attempting a loop-the-loop.

Scott Hoyle (aged 48) of Charborough Road, Poole, a former Royal Marine, is accused of carrying out the acrobatic manoeuvre while flying too low and while carrying Orlando Rogers (26) from Poole, who was too big for the plane to safely carry it out.

Michael Bowes QC, prosecuting, told Winchester Crown Court that Hoyle, who he described as a "novice" at flying this type of aircraft, carried out the flight on the "pleasant spring afternoon" of May 15, 2011, at Compton Abbas airfield in north Dorset.

He said: "Shortly afterwards the aircraft crashed in a field a few miles away near Witchampton.

"Orlando Rogers died of his injuries later that evening. Scott Hoyle suffered serious injuries and he made a recovery.

"The prosecution says that the fatal crash was caused as a result of conscious risk-taking by Scott Hoyle in that he flew the aircraft in a way that carried an obvious risk of serious injury to Orlando Rogers and Scott Hoyle chose to disregard it or was indifferent to it."

He said the prosecution say that "the accident happened when the aircraft entered a spin from an attempted loop manoeuvre at a height that recovery was improbable".

Mr Bowes explained that one of the factors which caused the accident was the size of Mr Rogers who was 18.5 stone and 6ft 2in tall and the restriction of movement his size would have had on the control stick in his cockpit.

He added: "In addition, this defendant was an inexperienced pilot of this type of aircraft and was untrained in aerobatics for spin recovery.

"It's submitted that he flew the aircraft beyond the limits of his training."

Mr Bowes said that Hoyle denies trying to carrying out a loop manoeuvre but the prosecutor said that he had carried out a similar stunt on another flight earlier that afternoon with a different passenger.