M62 crash pilot sentenced to three and a half years

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Robert Murgatroyd, 53, took off in his Piper Cherokee plane without weighing the free birdwatchers he was flying. He has now been hit with another three years for failing to tell insurers that his plane had been involved in three other crashes, with five of the  passengers killed

Robert Murgatroyd, 53, took off in his Piper Cherokee plane without weighing the free birdwatchers he was flying. He has now been hit with another three years for failing to tell insurers that his plane had been involved in three other crashes, with five of the  passengers killed

A greedy pilot who left three passengers injured in a light aircraft crash after overloading his plane has been hit with more jail time for failing to tell insurers that his aircraft had already crashed three times. 

Robert Murgatroyd, 53, took off in his Piper Cherokee plane from Barton Aerodrome on 9 September 2017 and crashing into a potato field adjacent to the M62.

He had 'grossly overloaded' his plane with three bird watchers who he was supposed to fly to the Isle of Barra in the Outer Hebrides. The entourage wanted to see a rare bird which hadn't been seen there for 30 years.  

The sentencing judge handed Murgatroyd a three and a half year prison term for aviation offences. But that was not the end of the pilot's time in the dock, appearing again on Friday where he pleaded guilty to an offence of fraud and of making a false declaration to obtain insurance.

In May 2013, an aircraft operated and insured by Murgatroyd was hired out to a pilot and it crashed at Caernarfon in Wales, killing one and seriously injuring 2 others.

Following that incident, in June 2014 Murgatroyd was convicted of flying an aircraft without a valid certificate of airworthiness, and was fined £300.

Robert Murgatroyd crash landed his Piper Cherokee in a field after he decided to take off despite the aircraft being grossly overloaded 

Robert Murgatroyd crash landed his Piper Cherokee in a field after he decided to take off despite the aircraft being grossly overloaded 

Murgatroyd agreed to fly three birdwatchers from Manchester to a Scottish island for £1,500 - even though his private pilots licence prohibited him from carrying passengers for hire

Murgatroyd agreed to fly three birdwatchers from Manchester to a Scottish island for £1,500 - even though his private pilots licence prohibited him from carrying passengers for hire

Robert Murgatroyd, 52, was found guilty of breaching numerous aviation laws today by a jury at Manchester Crown Court following a crash on September 7, 2017

Robert Murgatroyd, 52, was found guilty of breaching numerous aviation laws today by a jury at Manchester Crown Court following a crash on September 7, 2017

In October 2011, another aircraft operated and insured by

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