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Vietnamese pilot among four dead in UK air crash

By AFP, VnExpress   November 19, 2017 | 02:55 am PT
The Vietnamese major was on a training session when his helicopter collided with a plane.

Four people were killed on Friday when an airplane and a helicopter collided over Buckinghamshire in south England, local police said.

Two people were killed in each aircraft, which came down in woods near Waddesdon Estate near Aylesbury, according to Thames Valley Police.

One of the victims was Major Nguyen Thanh Trung, Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper quoted Deputy Transport Minister Le Dinh Tho as saying. 

At the time of the crash, Trung was flying the helicopter under the supervision of his British trainer, an official at the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam told Tuoi Tre.

Trung, 32, was a deputy head of the pilot training department at the Training Center of Vietnam Helicopter Corporation. He was in London on a regular training course.

Police chief Rebecca Mears told AFP she could not yet provide the identities of all the victims. 

"Our priorities today remain with investigating the next of kin, finding out who they are, informing them and supporting them with specialist officers as we progress the investigation here on site," she said in a statement.

"We anticipate being here until about Monday morning, potentially longer, we do not rush these things, it's really important we do a meticulous investigation and really thorough to get to the bottom of what's happened here."

Both aircraft had taken off from nearby Wycombe Air Park, a spokesman said.

The Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) said it was assisting in the investigation, revealing that the plane involved was a light Cessna.

The South Central Ambulance Service said the alarm was raised at 12:09 p.m. (1209 GMT) local time "to a mid-air collision involving a helicopter and an aircraft".

"We sent a number of resources to the scene, including the Thames Valley air ambulance, two ambulance crews, two ambulance officers and a rapid response vehicle," said a spokeswoman.

Local gardener Len Bellis told the Press Association that he found the "burning wreckage" after hearing a "horrendous noise", describing the light aircraft remains as "non-existent".

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