Pilot, 26, is identified as second Briton killed in Dubai plane crash as family pay tribute to ‘a beautiful soul who touched many hearts’
- William Blackburn, from the Isle of Man, died in plane crash at Dubai airport
- The 26-year-old’s family said he was ‘a beautiful soul who touched many hearts’
- Comes after ex-RAF wing commander David Phillips was also named as a victim
- Two men died alongside another Briton and a South African in crash last week
A 26-year-old British pilot has been named among those killed in a plane crash at Dubai airport.
William Blackburn, from the Isle of Man, was killed alongside three other Britons and a South African when the Diamond Aircraft DA62 plane they were riding in came down on Thursday last week.
Mr Blackburn’s family described him on Tuesday as a ‘beautiful soul’ who told them a few days ago: ‘If I die in flight then at least I’ll die doing what I love.’
William Blackburn, 26, from the Isle of Man, has been identified as one of three Britons killed when their DA62 plane crashed in Dubai (Mr Blackburn pictured with a DA62 plane)
Mr Blackburn (centre, with his family) was described as ‘a beautiful soul who touched many hearts’, and who said that dying in a plane would mean ‘dying doing what I love’
The crash has been put down to a technical fault on board the plane, but the exact cause is still being investigated
In a statement given to local station Manx Radio, the family said: ‘We were blessed with the most beautiful soul and he touched so many hearts.
‘We have all our amazing memories now to cherish, and so much support to get us through. The Island’s community is just amazing. We have been lucky to have him in our lives.’
Mr Blackburn was named a day after another British victim was identified as David Phillips, an ex-RAF wing commander from Newcastle.
He served as an air traffic control examiner in the Air Force and had more than 3,000 hours of flying experience before he died.
Tributes to Mr Phillips – who was affectionately known as ‘Spot’ – were paid online, including by the 83 St Georges Squadron Air Training Corps.
A spokesman for the corps wrote: ‘It’s with heavy heart that we have to inform you of the death of our Commanding Officer Flt Lt David Phillips.
David Phillips, a former RAF wing commander, has been identified as one of the three Britons killed in the UAE last week when their plane crashed near Dubai airport
Mr Phillips was an air traffic control examiner, served as a Commanding Officer in the Air Training Corps and had more than 3,000 hours of flying experience
The 83 St George’s Squadron ATC paid tribute to Mr Phillips – who was affectionately known as Spot – following his death
‘Our heartfelt condolences are with his family at this tragic time.’
A third Briton and the South African who were killed have not been named.
The crew, who were employed by Flight Calibration Services, based in Kent, were working to improve the runway at Dubai’s airport when tragedy struck.
Initial indications suggest the crash was the result of a technical malfunction, though an investigation is sill underway.
The two-year-old aircraft had been operating out of the Middle East since October.
Dubai’s international airport is one of the world’s busiest aviation hubs.
The crashed aircraft, a Diamond DA62, pictured, was owned by Flight Calibration Services. The company won a competition to calibrate the navigation aids at Dubai Aiport in November
The aircraft was calibrating navigation equipment at Dubai international airport, pictured
A Foreign Office spokeswoman said: ‘We are working closely with the Emirati authorities following reports of a small aircraft crash in Dubai.’
US engineering and aerospace company Honeywell said it had hired Flight Calibration Services and the DA42 plane for work in Dubai.
In a statement, Honeywell said: ‘We are deeply saddened by today’s plane crash in Dubai, and our heartfelt condolences are with the victims’ families.’