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Monday, August 07, 2006

Press Accounts re Ex-QPR's Bill Power & Mark Devlin's Plane Crash


Photo from The Sun
5 men & boy survive crash


FIVE men and a boy were miraculously rescued alive from the mangled wreckage of a light aircraft crash.

The six-seater plane — carrying three top officials from Swindon Town FC — had plunged into a wood.

Pilot Frank Kratky’s injuries were last night said to be life-threatening, while the passengers appear to have escaped with broken bones.

Swindon director Bill Power and chief executive Mark Devlin were reportedly on board when it crashed into Denham Golf Club in Berkshire on Saturday evening at about 7pm.

The officials, along with Devlin’s ten-year-old son Stan, were travelling back from the club’s opening day League Two fixture at Hartlepool.

Messages left on a Swindon supporters’ internet site suggested Mr Power suffered a punctured lung and Mark Devlin had a broken collarbone

Stan reportedly had two broken legs and a broken ankle.

Experienced pilot Mr Kratky, 60, was at the controls of the twin-engined Cessna 303 as it attempted to land at Denham Aerodrome.

But it came down a quarter of a mile short of the runway in front of terrified golfers.

It skimmed tree tops near the 13th hole and was then ripped apart when it hit the ground. Rescuers raced by road and by air to the scene and had to use specialist hydraulic cutting equipment to rescue the survivors.

An emergency service spokesman revealed that concerned golfers had phoned police before the plane had crashed.

He added: “The pilot behind this plane radioed through to air traffic control. We then received more phone calls, some from golfers.”

Mr Kratky, a dad of four originally from the Czech Republic, was said to have been flying for 20 years and also owned the plane, which had been hired by Swindon.

A club official said: “We can confirm three high profile members of the club were involved.”

Air accident investigators have launched a probe.

Mirror 7 August 2006
Soccer boss, his son and 3 others cut free in plane crash escape

By Ashley Rogers

THE chief executive of Swindon Town Football Club and his 10-year-old son were among five passengers who cheated death when their plane crash-landed on a golf course.

Mark Devlin, 43, broke both his shoulder blades in the smash while his son, Stan, suffered a broken leg and a broken ankle.

Two other club officials - director Bill Power, 53, and finance director Mike Sullivan, 52 - were also cut free. Both had broken arms and ribs.

Pilot and owner of the light aircraft Frank Kratky, 60, a wine merchant and father-of-four, was last night fighting for his life.

The Cessna 303 six-seater was returning on Saturday from a trip to Co Durham for Swindon's game at Hartlepool. It crashed just yards from the 13th green on Denham golf club, Bucks, where players looked up in horror.

Mr Kratky was trying to reach the airfield at the posh village in which Cilla Black lives. The aircraft smashed through branches and felled a tree before crumpling into a heap in a wooded area close to a train line.

Swindon Town chairman Willie Carson, the former champion jockey, said: "What happened was horrific but to come out of any air crash alive is a blessing.

"It was terrifying, especially for young Stan, who was in the front by the pilot. "I heard the plane was making a funny noise and then there was a bang."

Witness Roy Fuller, 39, said: "It's unbelievable anyone got out of there alive. The plane is just a mess." Chris Knibb, of Thames Valley Police, said: "The plane was a mangled wreck. It was absolutely amazing anyone survived.

"The area surrounding the crash site has been sealed off and air accident investigators are now gathering evidence."

Mr Kratky, originally from the Czech Republic, lives in a £1million home in Chalfont- St-Giles, Bucks. He has been flying for more than 20 years.

Meanwhile, a pilot and his 80-year-old passenger were hurt yesterday when their two-seater microlight crash-landed in Weston-under-Lizard, Staffs.


This is Wiltshire
Swindon Town officials survive plane crash
By Gary Lawrence

An investigator examines the wreckage of the plane

Swindon Town chief executive Mark Devlin and his ten-year-old son were among the survivors as their light plane crashed on the way back from a match on Saturday.

Sales and marketing manager Mike Sullivan and director Bill Power also survived as their Cessna 310 came down in woods close to Denham Golf Course.

There were six people on board the plane, which had been returning from the club's 1-0 win at Hartlepool.

The 57-year-old pilot was seriously injured . All the survivors were taken to Wexham Park Hospital near Slough.

Mr Devlin is believed to be suffering from a broken shoulder blade and fractured ribs, while Mr Sullivan sustained a badly broken arm.

Mr Devlin's son Stanley fractured both legs.

Town boss Dennis Wise was among the first visitors to the hospital on Saturday night.

Mr Sullivan's wife Anita, who has been at his bedside, said: Mike told me the plane was banking to the right when the engine suddenly went out of action.

"Mike said they were quite high up when the engine stopped. He heard Bill Power say we're going down' and someone screamed.

"When I saw him he was in a lot of pain, very uncomfortable. I also spoke to Bill and Mark.

"They were obviously still in shock but were putting a brave face on it. They were all quite okay, keeping their spirits up. They were joking, as they always are.'' Mr Devlin said: I'm sore all over. I feel like I've been put through the mangle.

"But I'm a lucky boy.'' He said he had been concerned for his son. "That was the worst bit for me. I couldn't see Stanley. I had my back to him but we were talking all the time.

"When you are lying in a wrecked plane, a friend like Mike Sullivan is next to you and he's unconscious, words can't explain it all.'' Air accident investigators were today still sifting through the wreckage of the plane.



QPR were both shocked and upset on hearing the news relating to the plane crash involving former Rangers personnel.

Former Chairman and Chief Executive Bill Power and Mark Devlin were involved in a light aircraft crash on Saturday evening when travelling back from their opening day fixture against Hartlepool.

Also on board were Devlin's 10 year old son Stan, Swindon's Sales and Marketing Manager, Mike Sullivan, pilot Frank Kratky and an as yet unnamed passenger.

Everyone at QPR would like to wish all those involved a safe and speedy recovery.

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