Pilot who taught Countdown star to fly killed in light aircraft crash

A champion aerobatic pilot who taught Countdown star Carol Vorderman how to fly was killed in a light aircraft crash at the weekend.Emily Collett, 36, had been executing a mid-air stunt when she crashed into a field near the village of Stonor in Oxfordshire on Saturday afternoon, The Sun reported.Mrs Collett was with novice aerobatic pilot Tom Castle, who worked at Sywell aerodrome in Northampton, in the small two seater Pitts S-2A plane. Mr Castle also died in the crash.She had earlier taken off from White Waltham airfield near Maidenhead, where she and her husband Mike ran Ultimate Aerobatics providing training courses for inspiring pilots.Thames Valley Police confirmed that the aircraft’s pilot and passenger were pronounced dead at the scene. Nobody on the ground was injured. Mrs Collett, who became the British advanced national champion in 2016, taught Carol Vorderman how to do a loop-the-loop in the same model of plane two years ago.The former Countdown co-host was shown being given a lesson by her during an episode of The One Show in 2017. Vorderman said in a tribute on Twitter: “Such a terrible terrible loss. Emily was an extraordinary young woman and pilot and my time with her in the air was nothing but a joy. My heart goes out to her husband Mike, to Emily’s family and to Tom Castle’s family in their grief. Rest In Peace.” Such a terrible terrible loss…Emily was an extraordinary young woman and pilot and my time with her in the air was nothing but a joy. My heart goes out to her husband Mike, to Emily’s family and to Tom Castle’s family in their grief. Rest In Peace https://t.co/0oT53vMQpO— Carol Vorderman (@carolvorders) August 25, 2019 Mrs Collett and her husband both learnt aerobatics, including spins, rolls and loops, in the Pitts S-2A, which has a maximum speed of over 200mph, according to their company’s website. She was an experienced flyer, having competed in the British Aerobatics Team and the World Advanced Aerobatics Championships during her career.British Aerobatics said:  “As an instructor she had a passion for passing on her skills and knowledge to her students, and was recently overjoyed at one of her students taking the Sports National title.“A caring and considerate nature, Emily’s generosity in sharing her knowledge and time to help others was well known in the aerobatic community and beyond, helping many pilots achieve their goals.”Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) experts carried out an on-site examination before the light aircraft was lifted on to a low loader and driven to their Hampshire Headquarters.A spokesperson added: “The AAIB investigation will take some time and an accident report will be released in due course.” Mrs Collett and her husband both learnt aerobatics, including spins, rolls and loops, in the Pitts S-2A Mrs Collett and her husband both learnt aerobatics, including spins, rolls and loops, in the Pitts S-2A Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. read more

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