Tributes To Pilots Killed In Chigwell Air Crash

The two pilots who died in a light aircraft crash in Chigwell on Saturday have been remembered as fun-loving family men who had been living out their boyhood dreams by becoming pilots.

Chigwell Aircrash 1

The two pilots who died in a light aircraft crash in Chigwell on Saturday have been remembered as fun-loving family men who had been living out their boyhood dreams by becoming pilots.

Captain Robert Bull, 40, and First Officer Francis Simmonds, 46, died when their Beechcraft King Air 200 crashed in a field off Gravel Lane on Saturday morning.

In a statement released by Essex Police, Mr Simmonds's family said: "Becoming a pilot was Francis' boyhood dream and he loved every day of his job. His death leaves a gaping hole in our hearts and lives.''

He lived in Luton, Bedfordshire, and was a devoted husband and father to a seven-year-old son, they said.

Mr Bull's family, who live in Hornchurch, Essex, also remembered him as a devoted father to his daughter.

They said: "He always put a smile on everyone's face and enjoyed sharing a good joke. Rob would always go out of his way to help people and nothing was too much trouble for him. He had been a pilot since 2003 and it was what he had always wanted to do.

"As an experienced pilot he worked hard to constantly improve his skills and had recently been awarded a captaincy. He was the glue that held everyone together and his family and friends are devastated by our loss. He will be sorely missed by everyone that knew him.''

The Air Accidents Investigation Board is investigating the incident.

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