Bradford

Pilot killed in festival crash named

Chris Penistone
Image caption Mr Penistone had performed a similar routine at other festivals

Tributes have been paid to a pilot who was killed when his light aircraft crashed during an aerobatics display at a festival in West Yorkshire.

Chris Penistone, 31, from Knottingley, was the only person aboard the one-seater which came down in a field next to the River Calder on Saturday.

He had been performing manoeuvres at the Methley Bridge Boatyard Festival.

Mr Penistone was a pilot with the airline Jet2.com. The firm said he had been a popular member of staff.

Festival organiser Jeff Dowsett said Mr Penistone, who was also an instructor at the nearby Sherburn Aero Club, had offered to carry out the display as a favour.

'Incredibly missed'

He added that the crash happened as he performed a manoeuvre where the aircraft climbs before coming down towards the ground.

Mr Dowsett said: "As soon as I realised what had happened I jumped in a boat to go across the river to see what I could do. But sadly there was nothing I could do."

He added that those at the festival had been left shocked by what had happened.

Image caption The aircraft crashed on Saturday afternoon during a festival

Richard Maxted, a member at Sherburn Aero Club, said Mr Penistone would be "incredibly missed".

"It is fair to say that everybody at the Aero Club is very distressed and our sympathies do extend to the family at this very stressful time."

Mr Maxted said Mr Penistone, who had a permit from the Civil Aviation Authority to do aerobatic displays, had performed a similar routine at other festivals.

In a statement, Jet2.com said: 'We are deeply shocked and saddened to hear of this tragic accident.

"Not only was First Officer Chris Penistone a highly-valued pilot, but he was also an incredibly popular member of the team. We extend our sincere sympathies to his family and friends at this very sad time'.

The Air Accidents Investigation Branch is investigating the crash.

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