THE cause of a plane crash which led to the feared death of an Alcester director is believed to have been caused by loss of control in heavy cloud.

Lee Rogers, director of Simplify IT Solutions based on Springfield Business Park, is feared to have died after his plane crashed into the English Channel in “freak 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 to Le Touquet, a seaside town in northern France when their Piper PA-28R lost radar contact before crashing into the English Channel.

The Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) has published a report that states the pilots lost control of the aircraft when it entered cloud.

The report notes: “A line of highly convective cloud was forecast on the intended route in the English Channel.”

The pilots then reported to London that they were in a cloud, however, neither of them was qualified to fly in cloud.

“Shortly after this transmission the aircraft disappeared from radar,” the AAIB report said.

Crispin Orr, Chief Inspector of Air Accidents said: “This was a tragic accident, and our thoughts are with the loved ones of the missing pilots at this time.

“The accident highlights how hazardous it is to fly into cloud when not suitably qualified or when not in current practice in instrument flying.”

The search for the two men was called off on April 3 as Lee’s family said they has no choice “but to assume Lee has passed on.”.

Investigation work is continuing to “examine operational, technical, and human factors which might have contributed to the accident.”

Lee’s family have described him as a “larger than life character who lived life to the full” and a man “with a big heart and limitless generosity.”