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

Pilot who taught Countdown star Carol Vorderman to fly killed in light aircraft crash
Emily Collett taught Carol Vorderman how to do a loop-the-loop in the same model of plane two years ago CREDIT: TWITTER

Champion pilot who taught Countdown star Carol Vorderman how to fly was killed in a light aircraft crash.

Flying instructor Emily Collett, 36, and her passenger, Tom Castle, 30, both died during a lesson in Oxfordshire on Saturday, 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.

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.

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.

The former Countdown co-host added that the death was a “terrible loss”, and described Mrs Collett as “an extraordinary young woman”.

When they filmed together for the BBC in July 2017, Vorderman said she “loved doing the loop with this top woman Emily Collett”.

Mr Castle was a keen private pilot who was undergoing tuition to further his aerobatics training, his family said.

Emergency services were called to a field in Stonor, near Henley-on-Thames, at about 14:00 BST on Saturday.

Thames Valley Police said the pilot and passenger were pronounced dead at the scene.

Nobody on the ground was injured.

The Air Accidents Investigation Branch has started an investigation.

Pilot who taught Countdown star Carol Vorderman to fly killed in light aircraft crash
Mrs Collett and her husband both learnt aerobatics, including spins, rolls and loops, in the Pitts S-2A

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