A banking fraudster whose private plane spanned out of control at 4,700ft before fatally hitting had received death threats a week earlier, an inquest heard.
Experienced pilot Muhammad Naviede was imprisoned for nine years in 1995 for a £45 million scam.
The 60-year-old passed on August 20 last year when the Piper Tomahawk aircraft he was passing crashed into a lot north of the village of Padbury in Buckinghamshire.
He was spinning an airfield to charge the plane’s flat battery as directed by supervision staff in the area before the disaster, the inquest was told.
An inquest jury of seven males and four women played the Mayday call made moments before the pilot descended to his death.
His family members left the room while the recording of their loved ones’ last words was played to Beaconsfield Coroner’s Court yesterday.
The message said: “I have not got possession of the plane. It is going into a spin, and I cannot control it.”
Mr. Naviede sent the message soon after trying to telephone Pervaiz Naviede, writing 148 characters within 25 seconds, something the AAIB said “would require considerable dexterity, especially in an aircraft that may have been out of control.”
The text was sent at 7.31 pm, two minutes before the plane began spinning out of control.
Giving live evidence at the inquest, his Rich List sibling Pervaiz Naviede, whose business is worth an estimated £100m, said: “I didn’t receive a call or have a missed call, but I received a text.”
The jury heard he was on holiday when he received the last text message his older brother ever sent.
“‘I’m on a plane that is out of control and going down. Please take care of Raquelle and Jessica like you took care of me.’ I was shocked and tried to call him, and then I tried to call his daughters,” he said.
He told the inquest that he was financially supporting his brother and had been for 10 to 15 years.
“When he said to take care of his daughters, I believe he meant financially,” he said.
On the crash day, Mr. Naviede had flown the Piper PA-38 Tomahawk from Elstree, Herts., to Turweston Aerodrome before heading to White Waltham airfield near Maidenhead, Berks.
He was then due to return to Elstree, but at 4.55 pm, Mr. Naviede telephoned the airport to say he would not return that day. He did not book an alternative destination.
The plane left White Waltham shortly after 5 pm, heading north. Just south of Buckingham, he began to fly in a circle for almost an hour at between 2,500ft and 4,700ft, during which time he made several calls on his mobile telephone.
The Air Accident Investigation Branch (AAIB) investigation said the message was “unusual” as the leased plane did not enter a spin until after the text was sent.
Margaret Dean, one of the first AAIB officers to examine the crash scene, said Mr. Naviede’s solicitor contacted her just days after the tragedy to reveal death threats were sent to his client.
Bob Moxon Browne QC, representing one of Mr. Naviede’s life insurers, asked Ms. Dean: “A week after the incident, on August 28, you emailed the police to the effect that you had found an anomaly between the text he sent to his brother and the Mayday call.
“I’m suggesting that the inference was that the text was sent before the decision to spin the plane out of control.”
She said: “If you find something unusual, tell the police.
“I received information from his solicitor that before the crash, there was a threat against Mr. Naviede. A threat of physical harm, I suppose. His solicitor sent me those threatening emails he received.”
However, Mrs. Dean told the inquest she did not send those emails to the police but said she ‘probably’ told the police that they existed.
Investigators found no fault with the aircraft, no evidence of third-party involvement, and said weather conditions were unlikely to have caused the crash.
The AIAIB report also highlighted strange aspects of Mr. Naviede’s behavior on the day, although people who spoke to him said he appeared “chatty, friendly, and relaxed.”
Oba Nsugbe QC, acting on behalf of the father-of-two’s family, said an aviation expert had compiled an alternative report, which identified “at least 12 areas of difference or challenge” to the AAIB findings.
He stressed that pilots finding themselves in a spin would be highly “disorientated,” which could account for Mr. Naviede’s inability to recover from it, despite having more than 3,000 hours of flying experience.
Mr. Naviede’s wealth was once estimated to be £117 million.
The businessman of Regent’s Park, London, was the brother of former Government race advisor Nighat Awan, who entertained Cherie Blair at her multi-million pound home in Cheshire in 2004. She never met Mr. Naviede.
He was the former head of the trade finance company Arrows, which collapsed owing over £100 million to overseas banks and other creditors in 1991.
In 1995, a jury at the Old Bailey convicted him of seven charges of fraudulent trading, obtaining property and services by deception, and making false statements to get bank facilities.
Coroner for Buckinghamshire Richard Hulett was also due to call independent eye-witnesses, members of the crisis services, family, lawyers, and a range of aviation experts to create a whole picture of Mr. Naviede’s final moments.