The first picture has emerged of the Vietnamese pilot who died in a mid-air crash while on a training exercise.
Nguyen Thanh Trung, 32, was in a helicopter with Captain Mike Green when they were involved in a collision with a Cessna 152 at 1,000ft over Waddesdon Manor in Buckinghamshire.
The other light aircraft was on a training flight with student Saavan Mundae, 18, being instructed by Jaspal Barha, 45.
Nguyen Thanh Trung, 32, was in a helicopter with Captain Mike Green when they were involved in a collision with a Cessna 152 at 1,000ft over Waddesdon Manor in Buckinghamshire
Captain Mike Green, pictured, was flying the helicopter which was involved in the fatal crash
The student inside the Cessna has been named locally as Saavan Mundae, 18, from Isleworth
The Vietnamese Ministry of Defence confirmed Nguyen Thanh Trung’s death in a statement last night.
They said he was taking part in an advanced flight instructor training session in an Cabri -G2 helicopter.
Mr Mundae, who is a student at Bucks New University was studying air transport and commercial pilot training. He died alongside instructor Jaspal Barha.
Friends of Captain Green said his death would leave a ‘gaping hole’ in the commercial helicopter industry as he was one of Britain’s most experienced and talented pilots.
A former colleague, Captain Phil Croucher, said: ‘I shared a cup of tea with him only on Thursday morning. He was a true gentleman. He was probably the most well-respected instructor in the country. He achieved a very high position within the Army as an instructor.
‘He was an absolutely dedicated instructor. If you wanted a training instructor there’s no one more highly qualified. Almost everybody in the country has been instructed by him. Most instructors have been trained by him.’
Mr Croucher said claims on a pilot forum by an air traffic controller who said he saw the aircraft disappear on radar suggested the two had collided accidentally.
He said the claims were that the helicopter had been flying a straight path and the aircraft was descending, and the pilot would have been unable to see due to ‘blind spots’ below and behind, although he added it was ‘conjecture’.
Captain Green was flying this Guimbal Cabri G2 helicopter with a sightseeing passenger
This Cessna 152 took had instructor Jaspal Barha and Saavan Mundae, 18, on board. Mr Mundae was studying to become a commercial pilot at Bucks New University
Mr Mundae, pictured, was just nine weeks into his flight training course when he died
He said: ‘From the available evidence, it’s as near to a proper accident as you are likely to see – no negligence, absolutely none. That airspace was free airspace.’
Superintendent Rebecca Mears of Thames Valley Police said air crash investigators and police were expected to be at the scene until at least Monday.
She said it was ‘too early to tell’ what might have caused the crash.
Speaking to reporters at the scene, Ms Mears said: ‘I can now confirm that those four people were all men. Two in each of the aircraft involved.
‘All the families have now been informed and are being supported by officers in the family liaison arena. Three of the families have visited the site today with our support so they can understand a little bit more about what’s happened to their loved ones.
‘We remain on site today so that we work with the air accident branch and a number of other experts from the fire service and the military with a view to using their expert services to recover the men’s bodies, hopefully before the end of the day.’
Mr Green was a senior instructor with Helicopter Services, based at the airfield.
Aerial footage from above the site where the helicopter and plane collided in mid-air yesterday. Four people, two from each aircraft, are dead following the crash at 1,000ft
A spokesman for the company, which offers training flights and gift experiences, declined to comment.
The plane involved was a Cessna 152 built in 1982 and owned by Airways Aero Associations which is based at the Wycombe Air Park.
It had flown almost 14,000 hours as of May and had previously suffered substantial damage to its landing gear, propeller and engine following a crash at a Cornish airfield in 1993.
An archived report by the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) shows the pilot admitted the accident was caused by his ‘misjudgment and lack of experience’.
AAIB investigators could be seen at the scene carrying what appeared to be wreckage debris in clear plastic bags.
Those on the scene say no one survived the crash, which left smouldering wreckage near the grounds of the Waddesdon Manor. Police have now set up evidence tents at the site
Also at the site were fire investigators and police. Police tape marked the inner cordon which could be seen through the thick bushes that surround the area.
The aircraft collided just 15 minutes after taking off from Wycombe Air Park which trains rookie pilots.
Wreckage landed near the Rothschild family’s Waddesdon Manor, 16 miles north-west of the airfield, just after midday.
Today, specialist crash investigators continued to work at the scene to find the wreckage of the two aircraft in an effort to find clues about what exactly happened.
Unfortunately, neither of the aircraft will have been fitted with black box flight data recorders such as those normally found in large passenger jets.
It is understood the Air Accident Investigation Branch have called in specialist experts from the RAF to assist in moving the wreckage to their facility in Farnborough, Hampshire.
Residents in the nearby village of Upper Winchendon heard a loud bang and could see and smell a plume of black smoke from the crash scene.
The pilot of the helicopter and its single passenger, as well as the pilot and a passenger of the plane, died in the crash, which happened at around 1,000ft.
Pictures from the scene show fragments of the helicopter’s rotor-blades and the plane’s fuselage scattered around the woodland floor.
A piece of fin, thought to be the tail-end of the small, Cessna plane involved, was visible
A plume of smoke was seen over the woodland shortly after the two aircraft came down
The aircraft came down near Upper Winchendon near Aylesbury, to the north west of London
Flight data shows a two-seater helicopter was flying at 1,025ft in the area at the time, but suddenly went off radar shortly after 12 noon. It had only been in the air for 15 minutes.
The plane that crashed is believed to be a Cessna 152, a popular training aircraft which has space for only one pilot and one passenger.
A Cessna 152 took off from Wycombe Air Park around the same time as the helicopter and disappeared from radar at the same time.
The plane thought to have been involved was made in 1982. The helicopter feared to have crashed was built earlier this year.
Both the aircraft feared to have crashed made successful loops this morning, suggesting that they were being used repeatedly for pilots’ training.
Police close to the crash site in the Buckinghamshire woodland yesterday protected the scene
Police have accessed the woods and set up a cordon around where the two aircraft came down
Photos from the scene show police tents have been set up where the two planes came down
Fire engines and police were seen at the entrance to the estate as crash investigators took over
Waddesdon Manor said in a statement: ‘Lord Rothschild and his family extend their condolences to the families of all affected, and their thanks to the emergency services for their swift response and professionalism.’
Staff from the Waddesdon Estate, which is managed by a foundation set up by the eminent Rothschild family, helped direct emergency vehicles to the scene of the tragedy as police threw up a massive cordon around the area to preserve the scene.
Waddesdon Estate gardener Len Bellis described how he found the wreckage minutes later after hearing a ‘horrendous noise’.
He said the Cessna was ‘non-existent’ but for a 5ft section of burning fuselage.
Two men he met at the scene told him they’d heard the plane ‘stuttering’ just before the crash.
The grand country manor house, which was used in the filming of The Crown and The Queen starring Helen Mirren, is understood to have been hosting a Christmas Market at the time of the crash.
The Cessna 152, built in 1982, is owned by Airways Aero Associations. It needed extensive repairs in 1993 after a crash in Cornwall.
Staff from the Air Accident Investigation Branch have been drafted in to begin an inquiry into what led to the mid-air collision.
One pilot said it was easy to be distracted by the estate.
Writing on an internet flying forum, the 36-year-old added: ‘I’ve been guilty of paying too much attention to pointing passengers to the Rothschild palace and not enough to a lookout.’
This was the scene at the airfield where the planes took off this afternoon. A helicopter similar to that feared to have been involved in the crash remains on the ground
Police vehicles surrounded the scene this afternoon as the investigation got underway
Fire crews and rescue workers raced to the scene after the first reports of the crash came in
An air ambulance landed on a nearby field although it is not thought anyone went to hospital
Aerial footage shows police activity in woodland set back not far from a local road