Heartbroken family pay tribute to helicopter pilot killed alongside passenger in horror crash | The Sun

A HELICOPTER pilot who died after his chopper crashed into a field has today been named as Ian MacDonald.

Ian, 66, was attempting to land his 2016 Guimbal Cabri G2 at his home on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales when the tragedy struck.

His passenger, who is believed to be of German nationality, was also killed.

They were returning to the village of Burton-in-Lonsdale, North Yorks., after a flight from Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria, according to flight data.

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His partner Julia Smith posted a photograph of Ian online. 

Her mum, Audrey, wrote: "With great sadness my daughter Julia's partner Ian has been killed in a helicopter accident on Monday June 20 – love from all of us xx."

The chopper came down shortly before Midday.

Emergency services, including an air ambulance, firefighters, cops and paramedics, raced to the scene. 

But a police spokesman later confirmed: "Two people were sadly killed as a result of the crash. 

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"Their families are being supported by specially trained officers. A full investigation is now under way."

One local told how Ian, believed to be a retired computer analyst, had recently taken in a Ukrainian family fleeing the war with Russia.

The resident, who owns a nearby farm, said: "He crashed whilst landing it. It's a manoeuvre he has done many, many times.

"He is a lovely man. He is currently housing a Ukrainian family. I don’t know what they will do now.

"I was out shearing my sheep when I heard a bang. 

"At first, I thought it was a ram butting something.

"Later I saw the air ambulance flying over and landing at his property."

Police erected a blue tent at the crash scene and a crane was brought in to move the wreckage ahead of a detailed examination.

The Air Accident Investigation Branch (AAIB) has launched an investigation.

The government body, which looks into civil aircraft accidents and serious incidents, said investigators would begin "making enquiries".

A spokesman said: "The AAIB has been notified of an accident in Burton in Lonsdale, North Yorkshire involving a light helicopter.

"An investigation has been launched and a team of inspectors are travelling to the accident site to begin making enquiries."

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Peter Thompson, chair of the parish council, said: "We are a rural community of about 600 people. 

"When something like this happens, it is obviously alarming. It's very sad for everyone involved."

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