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Cecil Bush died in June last year when his single-seater plane came down shortly after taking off from Great Oakley airfield near Harwich.
The inquest in Chelmsford heard the 69 year old from Great Holland appeared to suspect something was wrong and turned the aircraft back towards the airfield to land.
However a problem with the engine led to him losing control of the aircraft and it crashed to the ground.
Mr Bush was pronounced dead at the scene on June 27th 2009 and a post mortem revealed he had died from head and chest injuries.
Air accident investigators told the inquest, they believe the aircraft's engine had a history of problems dating back as far as September 2008.
It was said that on another occasion Mr Bush - who'd built the plane himself - had returned from setting out on a flight when discovering a problem with the engine but had spent time trying to rectify any problem he was faced with.
The coroner said his death was accidental.-->-->
The Bush family issued this tribute: "He was a kind, caring, considerate, supportive and sensitive family man who had a life long love of all things to do with aviation. Flying was his passion.
He was enjoying retirement to the full.
He leaves behind a devoted wife, two children and three grandchildren.
Our family is struggling to come to terms with our loss. He will be sadly missed."