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PA46 Malibu N264DB missing in the English Channel

EIMH, Ireland
“At that time there were some showers around, but nothing too intense. Wind speeds were not too bad – average speeds were around 15 to 20mph,” Met Office meteorologist Mark Wilson said.

“But it has got pretty wet, we’ve seen a band of rain push down from the north-west. That rain set in around 11.30pm to midnight and it’s still raining now.

“It’s also a bit windier, with gusts around 35mph.”

It seems like the weather wasn’t great but nothing bad enough to bring down a Piper Malibu which would presumably be very well equipped.

The weather observations and forecasts from Alderney (EGJA) and Exeter (EGTE) around that time, Monday afternoon:

METAR EGTE 212150Z 19011KT 9999 -SHRA SCT015 SCT025 07/05 Q1010=
METAR EGTE 212120Z 20012KT 9999 -SHRA FEW010 SCT025 07/05 Q1010=
METAR EGTE 212050Z 19010KT 9999 -SHRA FEW010 SCT025 06/05 Q1011=
METAR EGTE 212020Z 19009KT 9999 SCT020 06/05 Q1012=
METAR EGTE 211950Z 20011KT 9999 SCT030 07/05 Q1013=
METAR EGTE 211920Z 22010KT 9999 SCT035 06/04 Q1014=
METAR EGTE 211850Z 17008KT 9999 SCT025 06/05 Q1015=
METAR EGTE 211820Z 18008KT 9999 SCT035 05/04 Q1015=
METAR EGTE 211750Z 18008KT 9999 SCT040 06/05 Q1016=
METAR EGTE 211720Z 19007KT 9999 SCT020 06/04 Q1017=

TAF EGTE 211701Z 2118/2203 20010KT 9999 FEW030
PROB30 TEMPO 2118/2121 7000 -SHRA
BECMG 2121/2124 30008KT
TEMPO 2121/2124 6000 RA BKN010
PROB30 TEMPO 2121/2124 23015G25KT 4000 +RA BKN006
PROB30 TEMPO 2200/2203 7000 SHRA=

METAR EGJA 211820Z 19011KT 9999 SCT010 06/05 Q1018=
METAR EGJA 211750Z 19011KT 9999 -RA BKN010 06/05 Q1019 RERA=
METAR EGJA 211720Z 19012KT 9999 RA BKN013 06/04 Q1019=
METAR EGJA 211650Z 19011KT 9999 BKN015 06/03 Q1020=
METAR EGJA 211620Z 20010KT 9999 BKN018 06/03 Q1020=

TAF EGJA 211412Z 2115/2124 21017KT 9999 FEW015 BKN040
TEMPO 2116/2119 -RA BKN015=

EDDW, Germany

Yes, I did read about it in Ouest France press, the footballer plays with Nantes FC and was planned to move to Cardiff City

They requested as descent from 5000ft and Jersey ATC lost their contact at 2000ft, there was a “yellow ice warning forecast from MET office” but actual weather was not that bad at the time…

Looks like S&R stopped yesterday at 2am due to extreme weather but resumed this morning at 8am by French coast guards, UK sent theirs as well (a bit of tricky S7R as surrounding airspace/water tend to be handed to Brest when Jersey is out of hours)

Last Edited by Ibra at 22 Jan 10:22
Paris/Essex, France/UK, United Kingdom

Think I know the aeroplane involved. The guy I’m friendly with who normally flies wasn’t flying it.

Buying, Selling, Flying
EISG, Ireland

Sadly something very odd about this….should be 20,000 ft not 2,000 ft inbound to Cardiff over Guernsey.

EGNS, Other

Maybe he was going VFR?

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

Peter wrote:

Maybe he was going VFR?

At night? In a Piper Malibu flying a “mission” from Nantes to Cardiff? I would be surprised if it was VFR.

EDDW, Germany

Could have been VFR if there was time pressure to get there and perhaps some administrative or technical difficulties prior to launching. Couldn’t get an IFR flight plan to validate or something? Or perhaps something on the aeroplane was INOP such that it was restricted to VFR only?

The requested descent from 5,000 and vanishing from radar at 2,300 suggests weather avoidance. Could have been a technical problem I suppose, but no MAYDAY call.

I suspect ice. The weather was indeed not that bad in the scheme of things, but severe ice can just happen and on a cold dark night over the sea it isn’t necessarily going to melt away quickly if you descend out of the cloud as an avoidance strategy.

One thing is for sure, it is odd that it was that low in the first place.


I know zero about this accident but I can think of several PA46s which are, or were prior to being crashed, flown by non IR holders. Often there is a syndicate with a member who has perhaps the IMCR so he can’t go into Class A.

With the temps in the metars there would have been likely ice at 5000ft – about -5C which is the perfect temp for icing.

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

Was it a piston or a turbine Malibu ?

Safe landings !
EDLN, Germany
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