Hereford & Worcester

Overbury plane crash: Dead were instructor and student

John Smith Image copyright Family handout
Image caption John Smith, 52, was a senior instructor with Aeros

Two men who died when a light aircraft crashed have been named as flight instructor John Smith, 52, and student Ahmed Abdullah, 24.

The single-engine plane was on its way to Gloucestershire Airport when it came down at Bredon Hill, near the village of Overbury on 8 January.

The plane was from a fleet belonging to Aeros Flight Training.

The cause of the crash is being looked into by the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB).

An inquest into the deaths was opened on earlier at Worcestershire Coroner's Court.

Mr Smith lived in Moreton-in-Marsh, Gloucestershire and was a "highly experienced" senior instructor, Aeros' managing director Nick Dunn said.

"This accident has shocked and saddened everyone in the company.

"He [Mr Smith] was very popular with both his colleagues and his students - enthusiastic, a great communicator and always ready with one of his famous jokes."

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Media captionSix fire crews were sent to the scene

Mr Abdullah, originally from Kuwait, was living in Coventry whilst training towards becoming a commercial pilot.

Mr Dunn said he was intending to "join the airline in the near future.

"We send our most sincere sympathies to the family and friends of both pilots," he added.

Gloucestershire Airport said air traffic control lost contact with the aircraft at about 12:40 GMT and "alerting action was taken with the appropriate agencies".

West Midlands Ambulance Service said the men were declared dead at the scene.

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