Page last updated at 21:54 GMT, Tuesday, 10 March 2009

More time to quiz gyrocopter pair


The gyrocopter remains on the Tarmac as police investigate

Police have been granted more time to question two men arrested on suspicion of murder after a hunt supporter died when he was hit by a gyrocopter.

Trevor Morse, 48, from Alderminster, Warwickshire, died at the scene of the incident at Long Marston airfield near Stratford-upon-Avon on Monday.

Huntsmen had complained to authorities about being followed by a gyrocopter just days before the collision.

A post mortem-examination revealed Mr Morse died from severe head injuries.

Trevor Morse
Mr Morse had spent many years with the Warwickshire Hunt

Warwickshire Police have until midnight on Wednesday to question the men who were travelling in the aircraft at the time of the incident.

Sam Butler, joint master of the Warwickshire Hunt, said a gyrocopter had been following the hunt, and others in the area, in recent weeks and they had lodged a complaint with the Civil Aviation Authority 10 days ago.

Mr Butler, also a friend of Mr Morse's family, said he did not know why the aircraft had been following them.

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) confirmed it received a complaint regarding the operation of the gyrocopter involved in the incident.

"We can confirm that the complaint was received 10 days ago and an investigation had commenced prior to yesterday's incident," it said in a statement.

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

Paying tribute to Mr Morse, Mr Butler said hunting was his life and as a supporter, he never missed an event.

He reared birds and helped to look after an eagle owl for the Warwickshire Hunt.

"No higher quality of person could you find than Trevor," Mr Butler said.

"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.

It is thought the privately owned aircraft, which is similar to a small helicopter, had landed at the airfield to refuel when the collision happened at about 1500 GMT on Monday.

Officers from the Air Accidents Investigation Branch and Warwickshire Police attended the scene, which remains sealed off.

Print Sponsor

Murder probe after aircraft death
10 Mar 09 |  Coventry/Warwickshire

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