Two men who died in a plane crash on the Mull of Kintyre had just completed a charity climb of Ben Nevis, it has emerged.
Anthony Woodward and Robert Archer had left Oban Airport on Thursday after taking part in the nine-and-a-half hour fundraising climb for the Shooting Star Chase children’s charity.
The men from the London area never arrived at their intended destination of Carlisle Airport, from where they had hired the Piper PA28 Cherokee light aircraft.
The bodies of Mr Woodward, 62, and Mr Archer, 57, were recovered from the sea along with wreckage from the plane two miles off the coast of Skipness.
They climbed Ben Nevis with their friend, Peter Ogilvie, last Tuesday, who had written about their climb, saying the team were “hugely proud” of their achievement to raise more than £2,000 for the charity.
He said: “We marched and then struggled through relentless rain with plummeting temperatures. Below freezing at the top we were hit by freezing rain being blown by 45 KT winds.”
Since the accident people have been donating on the Just Giving page for the walk in memory of his two friends. The total has now reached more than £4,700.
A statement from Mr Woodward’s family on the page, who sign it Valerie, Nathan and Mel, says: “After completing the epic journey up Ben Nevis, tragically Tony and one of the other walkers, Bob, died in a light aircraft crash on their way home. This was devastating news for all involved, but we are hoping that people will dig deep and contribute what they can to this amazing charity that he passionately supported.
“The total immediately after the climb was around £2,600, plus a secret stash of a few hundred in cash donations that Tony was collecting privately. We’re so pleased that people have continued to give in their memory. Tony would, and the charity will, appreciate every penny.”
Police are appealing for information from any witnesses to the crash.
The Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) sent a team of experts to the Mull of Kintyre to investigate.
The plane left Oban Airport at around 11.30am and never arrived at Carlisle at the expected time of 1pm.
A police spokeswoman said: “Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to contact DI Douglas Wilson at L Division CID via 101 and quote incident number 2167 of Thursday May 25.”