Tributes paid to Alcester manager involved in Channel plane crash

TRIBUTE has been paid to the director of an Alcester company involved in a plane crash over the English Channel.

Lee Rogers, director of Springfield Business Park-based Simplify IT Solutions, is feared to have died after his plane crashed into the English Channel in “abnormal weather conditions”.

Lee and his friend Brian Statham had taken off from Wellesbourne Mountford airfield near Stratford-upon-Avon on the morning of April 2.

They were heading for Le Touquet, a seaside town in northern France when their Piper PA-28R lost radar contact before crashing into the English Channel.

An investigation is currently being carried out by the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) into the cause of the crash which is believed to have occurred during a snow storm.

The families of Lee and Brian paid tribute to their loved ones with appeals to help locate their bodies.

The men were flying a Piper PA-28R.

A joint response has been launched by the French Coastguard and HM Coastguard to search an area off the Kent and Sussex coasts, but so far they have not been found.

Lee’s family said the trip was a group flight with South Warwickshire Flying School which included several other planes.

The search for the plane was canceled on Sunday 3 April.

Lee’s family say they have no choice “but to assume Lee is dead.”

The family said: “Anyone who knew Lee will testify to a larger-than-life character who lived his life to the fullest, a man with a big heart and boundless generosity.

“A competent and enthusiastic pilot, a lover of all kinds of fast and noisy machines, which also included a new love of yachting.

“He will leave a great wake behind him and will be greatly missed – not only by his family but by his legion of friends and colleagues.

Bromsgrove announcer: Brian Statham. Brian Statham.

“Lee was and always will be a legendary figure in the IT world and Warwickshire community, most of whom will have a humorous story or two to tell about him.

“Not only a successful entrepreneur, known for his principled and uncompromising code of ethics, Lee was also a benevolent supporter of various charities.”

Lee has been described as a “family man” and leaves behind his wife Sarah, to whom he was married for eight years, and daughter Ellie.

The family added: “It’s not fair that Ellie is separated from her father so young, or that Sarah is deprived of her husband long before her time or that Lee’s parents and sister lose a son and a brother. .

“Life isn’t fair, but few people leave a legacy like Lee, even though they’ve had a hundred lifetimes.”

Lee’s family thanked the British and French coastguards for their efforts and the public for their tributes.

On Thursday April 7, Brian’s flight bag from the plane was found and handed over by a tourist on the beach in Le Touquet.

Brian’s family said: “If you live on the north coast of France or the south coast of England and enjoy spending time at the beach or near the English Channel, be alert for any form of debris aircraft, clothing and personal items.

“If you see anything, please pick it up and turn it over to local authorities.”