Tributes paid to tragic pilot

A PILOT who died when his single-seater plane crashed into a field in Essex had lived “for his family and flying”, it emerged last night.

James Hore

A PILOT who died when his single-seater plane crashed into a field in Essex had lived “for his family and flying”, it emerged last night.

Cecil Bush had been flying his plane from Great Oakley Airfield, near Harwich, when he crashed nearby at about 10.45am last Saturday.

An inquest into the 69-year-old's death has now been opened and adjourned and Mr Bush, of Great Holland, near Frinton, was officially named yesterday .

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Tim Spurge, owner of the airfield, said Mr Bush had been flying from Great Oakley for the past 15 years and paid tribute to the regular flyer.

He said everyone involved at the club, which had a good safety record, was still in shock at events of the past week.

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“I have known him for 15 years whilst he kept his plane here and throughout that time he has been a very good pilot.

“I have spent many hours talking plans with him and he was a real enthusiast - the biggest things in his life were his family and his love of aircraft.

“It has been a sad loss to all of us here at the club,” he said.

Mr Spurge said members had discussed the possibility of a memorial being created to Mr Bush and said he hoped it would come to fruition.

“He was a very kind person, very helpful, a quiet person - as a pilot he was extremely careful, cautious and methodical in his approach to flying.

“I have lots of happy memories of talking with him, Cecil had a wide range of knowledge of aircraft and the people involved in light aviation.”

Mr Spurge said despite the club's very good record on safety, the crash had made him question all aspects of safety.

“We are operating again, but those who knew Mr Bush, or Cecil as we knew him, are all pretty stunned by it.

“It has given rise to a period of reflection and although we have a good safety record, you start to consider all the ways that safety can be monitored here.”

Emergency crews were called to the field, close to the club in the grounds of Great Oakley Lodge, but there was nothing that could be done to save Mr Bush.

The Air Accidents Investigation Branch, part of the Department for Transport, has launched an inquiry into the crash, but has yet to confirm any more details.

An Essex County Council spokesman confirmed last night an inquest into Mr Bush's death had been opened and adjourned until a later date.

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