The last remaining survivor of the Winter Hill air disaster has been described as a ‘well liked and great character’ after he passed away in March.

Norman Ennett, who lost many friends during the incident and ‘seldom talked about it’, died at the age of 90 at Noble’s Hospital.

The disaster, which occurred on February 27, 1958, saw 35 Manx residents lose their lives on the slopes of Winter Hill near Horwich in Lancashire.

Of the 42 people who took off from Ronaldsway Airport that morning, only seven were to survive the crash less than an hour later.

The plane was carrying a group of local motor traders and associated colleagues to visit the Exide battery factory in Manchester on what was meant to be a day trip to the UK.

Norman’s brother, Raymond, said: ‘Norman was well liked and had a great character.

‘He seldom talked about the disaster having lost so many friends in it.’

Of the seven survivors of the crash, which consisted of three crew members and four passengers, Norman was the last of them.

Back in March 2018, to mark the 60th anniversary of the crash, Norman spoke about the events of that fateful day in 1958.

Mr Ennett said he knew the plane was flying at 1,500 feet and crew only realised they were tuned into the wrong beacon when Manchester control told them ’you’re heading for Wigan’.

Following this, the crew were given the order by Manchester control to ’make a right turn immediately on to a heading of two five zero’.

It was during this turn that the plane crashed into Winter Hill, just short of the summit.

Describing the crash, Norman said: ‘We hit the hill. You couldn’t see anything because of the cloud or mist and the white snow on the ground. It just fell to bits.

’My harness broke or snapped and I fell down behind the captain and the first officer and I was knocked out.’

During the crash, Mr Ennett suffered a broken arm, wrist and shoulder, cuts to his face and a piece of perspex was stuck in his forehead.

Despite having survived a plane crash, Mr Ennett says that he flew home after his time in hospital: ’If you fall off a horse, you’ve just got to get back on.’

Talking more about his brother, Raymond said: ‘He was the second son of William and Mary Ennett of Castletown, with our other brother being the late Derek Ennett, the well-known motorcyclist. ‘He will be missed by all that remember him, especially in golfing circles as he was a member of Castletown and Rowany Golf Club and a junior champion when he was younger.’