Student killed in air crash tragedy lived in Coventry

One of the men killed when a light aircraft crashed in Worcestershire was a student living in Coventry.

Ahmed Abdullah, aged 24 and originally from Kuwait, was living in the city as he worked towards becoming a commercial pilot.

He was with flight instructor John Smith, 52, in an aircraft which belonged to Aeros Flight Training.

The Piper PA-28 single-engine aircraft was on its way from Aeros Flight Training’s base at Coventry Airport to Gloucestershire Airport.

It came down in a field at Bredon Hill, near the village of Overbury not far from Tewkesbury, at around 12.45pm on January 8.

Mr Smith, who was originally from Jersey but lived in Moreton-in-Marsh, was described as “a highly experienced instructor”.

Aeros has sites in Coventry, Gloucester, Nottingham, Cardiff and Stratford-upon-Av on.

West Midlands Ambulance Service said the men were declared dead at the scene.

The cause of the crash is unknown and is being investigated by the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB).

Aeros managing director Nick Dunn said: “This accident has shocked and saddened everyone in the company.

“John started with Aeros working at Wellesbourne but was very quickly promoted to senior instructor and moved across to our Coventry Academy.

“He was highly experienced, very popular with both his colleagues and his students – enthusiastic, a great communicator and always ready with one of his famous jokes.

“The student on board had been training towards qualification as a commercial pilot, intending to join an airline in the near future.

“We send our most sincere sympathies to the family and friends of both pilots.”

An inquest into the deaths was opened on Monday at Worcestershire Coroner’s Court.

Mr Abdullah had spent a very short time in Coventry, a spokeswoman for the coroner’s service said.

She said which of the men had been piloting the plane, which came down in foggy conditions, was still under investigation.

The hearing, conducted by coroner Geraint Williams in Stourport-on-Severn, was adjourned until later this year.

It is possible a pre-inquest review may be held in June although the spokeswoman said that might have to be put back if the air accident investigation took longer. She said it could take up to a year.

Several tributes were paid to flight instructor John Smith on Aeros’s Facebook page.

Aaron McMenamin posted: “Thanks for everything John. You were a true gent and a fantastic instructor.

“Thoughts are with your family, friends and all of those at Aeros. Blue skies.”

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