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Cornish Pilot Killed in Aircraft Crash
11:34am 23rd July 2012
(Updated 11:34am 23rd July 2012)
A pilot has been killed after his plane crashed into cliffs in Cornwall.
It ditched near Portreath and burst into flames just moments after take off on Saturday afternoon.
Tributes are being paid to Andrew Stillwell-Cox from St Austell and his family say he will be "missed enormously".
The 55 year old took off from Perranporth Flying Club just after four o'clock.
Eye witnesses report seeing the light aircraft's wreckage hanging precariously on the cliff edge near the old RAF Poretreath site, a plume of smoke rising above it.
Police, coastguards, a chopper from Culdrose and fire crews from as far away as St Just were scrambled to the scene at Sheep Rock.
Detectives are investigating reports that the pilot left a note before setting off on the flight. He is believed to have taken his pet dog aboard with him.
A spokesman for Devon and Cornwall Police said: "Police, fire and rescue and HM Coastguard all attended the scene with the aircraft reported on fire.
"Following early investigation, the pilot of the aircraft has died as a result of the incident - although the fire is now extinguished.
"It is believed he was a man from the St Austell area of Cornwall.
"We do not currently believe there are any other people involved or injured as a result of the collision.
"The Air Accidents Investigation Branch have been informed of the incident and will be attending the scene.
Investigations at the scene are continuing."
A spokesperson for Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service added: "The Fire Service mobilised 4 major appliances, 4 special appliances, 2 landrovers and 2 Wholetime Officers to this incident from Redruth, Camborne, Truro, Falmouth, Perranporth and St Just.
"On the crews arrival they discovered the wreckage of a light aircraft and several fires around the crash site."
Teams from theAir Accident Investigations Branch are taking over the case.
Picture courtesy of @Ocean_Breeze_11:34am 23rd July 2012
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