England

Coventry flying club pays tribute to crash pilot

Bruce Hook
Image caption Mr Hook senior was described as an "excellent pilot"

A Coventry flying club has paid tribute to a father and son who died in a plane crash in Spain.

Bruce Hook, 63, of Worcester, and his son Ian, 26, died on Saturday shortly after taking off from San Luis aerodrome in Menorca.

AWA Flying Group said Mr Hook senior was an "excellent pilot".

The pair had entered a Beech Baron twin engine plane in the Air Race Menorca 2010 and were practicing when their plane nose dived and exploded.

Spanish investigation

"Bruce was a real gentleman who helped students through their flying courses," AWA chief flying instructor John Stockley said.

"Everybody was shocked by the loss and it's a real tragedy".

Mr Hook and his son had entered one of the bigger planes in the annual competition, which was handicapped according to weight and engine size.

Mr Stockley said the planes had to complete between 15 to 20 laps of a triangular aerial course.

The planes' start times would have been staggered so that all the aircraft were airborne at the same time, though on different levels, he added.

Image caption The Spanish civil aviation authority is investigating

The winner would have been the first plane to cross the finish line, but the competition was cancelled following the deaths.

Mr Hook, a father-of-two, had owned the Willpower Garage in Lapworth, Warwickshire, for more than 20 years.

His wife Brenda Hilvert said the deaths had come as a shock.

"It's too hard to take in," she said.

A business colleague, Stephen Esslemont, said Mr Hook was a "very competent" pilot and member of AWA Flying Group at Baginton Airport, Coventry.

Mr Hook's son Ian, from Kenilworth, Warwickshire, was unmarried but had a girlfriend.

Post-mortem examinations are being carried out on both men, a spokesman for the Spanish government in Menorca said.

The Spanish civil aviation authority and the judicial authority are investigating the incident.

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