Pilots argued over controls just before crash, says Irish actress


AIR crash investigators opened an inquiry yesterday into allegations by the Irish actress Lisa Hogan that two pilots were arguing over the controls seconds before a business jet crashed on to a busy dual carriageway near London.

After being treated in hospital for shock and cuts and bruises Miss Hogan, the only passenger on the Spanish Learjet, told officials from the Air Accidents Investigation Branch that the two Spanish pilots did not appear to know where RAF Northolt's airfield was and began fighting over the controls.

"We were going round and round for ages and then they started arguing. The co pilot tried to do something, but the pilot smashed his hands off the controls and then we crashed," she said.

Miss Hogan (25) also told rescuers that she thought the approach was too steep and that the plane was travelling too fast.

The Learjet, which was flying into London from Palma, Majorca, on Tuesday, overshot the run way at RAF Northolt and crashed into a van on the dual carriageway.

Her mother, Ms Arlene Hogan, said her daughter had been shaken by the accident but seemed to be recovering well from her injuries. "It was a terrifying experience for her, but she is a sensible girl and she's fine," she added.

Ms Hogan was travelling to London to rehearse a scene at Pinewood studios in the new John Cleese film, Fierce Creatures, a sequel to the hit comedy A Fish Called Wanda. In the film, which is set in a zoo, she plays the part of Sky, a sealion keeper.

Ms Hogan has worked for Mr Cleese's production company, Fish Productions, for three years as a researcher and then production assistant.

A former model, she was educated at Alexandra College in Milltown, Dublin. Her father, the late Mr Maurice Hogan, was an architect. Her step father is Mr Raymond Keaveney, director of the National Gallery of Ireland.

The Learjet flight was reportedly arranged by a friend of Ms Hogan, Baron Steven Bentinck.