Funeral plans for Sunderland pilot killed in Cork crash

andrew cantle

andrew cantle

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THE funeral of a Sunderland pilot killed in an air crash will be held in the city next week.

Andrew Cantle, 27, and Spanish colleague Jordi Lopez, 31, were making a third attempt to bring down the turboprop aircraft in thick fog after a flight from Belfast to Cork.

Both Mr Cantle, from Moorside, and Mr Lopez died along with four passengers, including a relation of Ireland’s President Mary McAleese.

Six others aboard survived the crash at Cork Airport.

Mr Cantle’s parents, John, 58, and Ann, 56, along with girlfriend Beth Webster, will join mourners at his funeral at Sunderland Minster on Thursday.

Mr Cantle, who was co-pilot on the flight, was also a well-known member of the RNLI, which he joined in 2000, while on Wearside.

During his eight years as a volunteer, he took part in 65 emergency missions and rescued 66 people.

Lifeboat volunteers will carry his coffin, which will be draped in an RNLI flag, at the service.

A collection in aid of the charity will also be held at the church.

“Because Andrew was a member, we specifically wanted the Sunderland branch to benefit from any donations,” said Ann.

After attending Farringdon School and studying for a degree in aviation technology and pilot studies at Salford University, Mr Cantle went on to complete his training as a pilot before securing a permanent job with a commercial firm.

Paul Nicholson, senior helmsman at Sunderland RNLI, said: “Andrew first became involved with Sunderland RNLI lifeboat station in 2000 when he decided to serve with the charity as part of the community service element of the Duke of Edinburgh Award.

“After completing the award in 2001, he decided to stay with the charity and serve as volunteer lifeboat crew before gaining promotion to inshore lifeboat helmsman, which he served as until 2008 when he moved to York to take up his career as an airline pilot.

“Everyone involved with the lifeboat station is in total shock about the tragic loss of a very close and dear friend.”

Aviation experts from Dublin and the UK have joined forces to examine the crash site in Cork, the wreckage and final minutes of the flight on February 10.

Spanish authorities are also expected to be involved in the probe.

The funeral services of four of the other victims have already taken place.

Captain Michael Evans, 51, a deputy harbour master, and Richard Noble, 48, originally from England, were laid to rest in Belfast on Thursday.

On Monday, the funerals of businessman Brendan McAleese, 39, a cousin of the Irish President Mary McAleese’s husband Martin, and accountant Pat Cullinan, 45, took place.

Mr Cantle’s funeral will be held at Sunderland Minster on Thursday at 1pm.