Essex

Essex air crash death: Tributes paid to 'wonderful father'

Stuart Penfold Image copyright Mr Penfold's famly
Image caption Stuart Penfold rebuilt and was the pilot of the crashed aircraft

The family of a pilot who died in a light aircraft crash have paid tribute to a "wonderful husband, father and grandfather".

Stuart Penfold was pronounced dead at the scene at Waits Farm Airfield in Belchamp Walter, Essex on Sunday.

He was flying a Luton Minor when it crashed metres from the grass landing strip.

His family described Mr Penfold, 54, of Halstead, as a "passionate light aircraft flyer".

He was also "devoted" and "reliable" and "a keen member of Braintree Motorcycle Club", they added.

Image copyright Stuart Penfold
Image caption Stuart Penfold was flying his Luton Minor when it crashed killing him

On Monday, the chief executive of the Light Aircraft Association, Steve Slater - who described himself as a close friend of Mr Penfold - said he helped him to buy his Luton Minor.

"This particular aircraft was almost rebuilt. He bought it after it had suffered an accident previously," he added.

"He practically rebuilt the entire fuselage. Like a Luton Minor I had, it had a converted VW Campervan engine. It was very simple and mechanical."

The Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) is investigating the crash.

Anyone who witnessed it or saw the aircraft shortly before is asked to contact Braintree Police Station.

Image caption Police are appealing for witnesses to the crash to get in touch

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