Page last updated at 10:15 GMT, Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Murder probe after aircraft death

Gyrocopter at scene
Two men are being questioned by police about the incident

Two people have been arrested on suspicion of murder after a hunt supporter died when he was hit by a gyrocopter at an airfield.

Trevor Morse, from Alderminster, Warwickshire, died at the scene of the incident at Long Marston airfield near Stratford-upon-Avon.

Sam Butler, of the Warwickshire Hunt, said a gyrocopter had recently been following hunts in the area.

He said hunting was Mr Morse's life and everyone was "completely shocked".

"No higher quality of person could you find than Trevor," said Mr Butler, a family friend and joint master of the hunt.

Everybody was just completely shocked and can't believe that we have lost such a good friend
Sam Butler, family friend

"First and foremost he was the most wonderful son and brother and the most dedicated and loving partner of Caroline and we feel very, very, very deep sympathy for him and them today.

"Everybody was just completely shocked and can't believe that we have lost such a good friend."

Mr Butler said it was a "tragic but fatal accident", but he did not know why an aircraft had been in the area over the last few weeks.

It is thought the gyrocopter, a privately-owned aircraft similar to a small helicopter, had landed at the airfield to refuel.

Slow landing

Gyrocopters are known to take off and land very slowly and it is thought the victim was walking when the collision occurred.

Gyrocopter in flight
Small, helicopter-like aircraft which generates lift using a free-spinning rotor
Rotor uses air to turn while engine-powered propeller generates thrust
There are 304 registered gyrocopters in the UK, but only 75 are fully-licensed to fly (source: CAA, Jan 09)
Pilots require a licence and must fly in daylight, within sight of the ground, more than 500ft from other vehicles and buildings

No one else was injured in the incident, an ambulance spokesman said.

Det Ch Insp Adrian McGee, of Warwickshire Police, said at the airfield on Monday: "We will be conducting a thorough investigation into the circumstances to establish exactly what happened here."

West Midlands Ambulance Service said crews were called to the airfield on Campden Road, Lower Quinton, at about 1500 GMT on Monday.

A spokeswoman said: "Crews immediately assessed the pedestrian, a man, but unfortunately nothing could be done to save him and he was confirmed dead at the scene."

The Health and Safety Executive and the Air Accident Investigation Branch have both been informed.

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