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Last Updated: Monday, 28 January 2008, 12:24 GMT
Air crash wreckage to be removed
Paul and Linda Spencer
Paul and Linda Spencer were regular visitors to Rudding Park
Air accident investigators are due to remove the wreckage of a helicopter which crashed at a North Yorkshire golf resort, killing a married couple.

Paul Spencer, 43, and his wife Linda, 59, of Brighouse, West Yorkshire, died when their Gazelle crashed at Rudding Park near Harrogate on Saturday.

The aircraft had just taken off when it came down in woodland in the grounds.

Police said the wreckage would be taken away for further examination some time on Monday.

The Air Accidents Investigation Branch of the Department for Transport is being helped by experts from the RAF and Navy in its attempt to pinpoint the cause of the crash.

Post-mortem examinations are also due to take place on Monday.

The Spencers, who ran Country Baskets, a firm which sold dried flowers, were said to be regular visitors to the hotel.

It would appear to be a really tragic incident and our job now is to try to establish the cause
Insp Tad Nowakowski,
North Yorkshire Police

In a statement, their family said: "Paul and Linda Spencer were a wonderful couple who were devoted to each other and their family.

"They were hugely generous to all around them, often helping people who were less fortunate than themselves.

"From modest beginnings they built a successful business which operated throughout the UK employing hundreds of people.

"Their family and friends have been left devastated by the tragedy, but can take comfort that at the time of the accident they were in one of their favourite places together and doing something they both loved."

A North Yorkshire Police spokeswoman confirmed that the bodies of the victims had been removed from the wreckage.

Workers examine the helicopter crash scene
An investigation by the Air Accidents Investigation Branch is under way

She said the couple's family were "absolutely devastated", and were being supported by specially-trained officers.

Weather forecasters said conditions were gusty at the time of the crash.

Insp Tad Nowakowski from North Yorkshire Police said: "It would appear to be a really tragic incident and our job now is to try to establish the cause, which will take some time."

A private function at the 2,000-acre hotel and resort, which was recently named the 12th most luxurious in the world, went ahead on Saturday night.

Guests there have included former US presidents Bill Clinton and George Bush, former Russian president Mikhail Gorbachev and Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
Paul Spencer and his wife died when their Gazelle crashed



SEE ALSO
Helicopter accident couple named
27 Jan 08 |  England
Two dead after helicopter crash
26 Jan 08 |  England

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