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Tributes paid to air crash dead

21 August 08 14:12 GMT

The families of people killed when two planes collided near Coventry have been paying tribute to their loved ones.

Brian Normington, 66, of Leamington Spa, died when his small aircraft, a Rand KR2, collided with a Cessna 407 with four people inside on Sunday.

Harvey Antrobus, 28, of Warks, Sophie Hastings, 28, of Derbyshire, James Beagley, 34, of Bucks, and Sybille Gautrey, 33, of Northants, also died.

The incident is being treated as an accident and inquiries are continuing.

'Experienced pilot'

The occupants of the Cessna all worked for survey company Reconnaissance Ventures Ltd, based at Coventry Airport.

Their bodies were found in Brandon Wood on Monday, while Mr Normington's body was discovered near Coombe Abbey on Sunday.

His family said he had 20 years' experience as a pilot and was a keen member of the Coventry AWA flying club.

"He was a great character, full of life and loved by all who knew him," they said.

The family of Mr Antrobus, who came from Fillongley and was a former pupil at Coventry's Bablake School, said he was a practical young man, a keen marksman and involved in farming.

"He always had a smile on his face and was perfect in every way," they said.

Mr Beagley came from High Wycombe and had always wanted to be a pilot.

'Greatly missed'

Tributes have been left for him on internet networking sites.

"For the most genuine, honest and decent guy I know. They are few and far between but you were definitely one of them. You are flying forever in our hearts...," one message read.

Ms Gautrey, from Towcester, was described as a kind and generous mother, daughter, wife and friend who grew up in East Germany and moved to the UK in 1997.

"She had a lot more to give and will be greatly missed," a tribute said.

Eyewitnesses previously praised Ms Hastings, who had piloted the Cessna, for steering the aircraft away from a built-up area.

Ms Hastings' relatives decided not to pay a public tribute.

Linda Harbour, of Binley Woods Parish Council, which is near the crash site, said: "I know she was an experienced pilot and part of the training is to deal with situations and keep your head, but when the actual situation arrives it is completely different.

"To keep your head and think about other people is quite something."

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