Pilot from Easingwold dies in plane crash in Australia

A PILOT from North Yorkshire was killed when his aircraft plunged into the sea while performing aerobatics.

Newly-wed Alex Jimmy Rae, 26, from Easingwold, died along with his 21-year-old French passenger, Taissia Umenc, in the smash off the coast of Queensland, Australia.

He radioed base before the accident off South Stradbroke Island saying: “Conducting aerobatics over 3,500 feet” - but then there was silence.

His wife Alice – who met him when they were both pupils at Easingwold School - said he had died “doing what he loved.”

And she thanked search crews who recovered the bodies and pieces of the vintage Tiger Moth in a major operation after the accident last Monday.

In a statement released through Australian police, she said: “On behalf of all Jimmy’s family and friends, we would like to thank everyone for their support and well wishes.”

Mr Rae was a pupil at Easingwold School between 1999 and 2005 where he is still fondly remembered.

Teacher Wayne Nicholson said he had been a pupil who “lived life to the full”.

Mr Nicholson added: “Whatever he got involved in, he was passionate about and gave it his all. He was interested in travelling and experiencing the world. He was really good at graphics – a natural designer.”

A statement released by flight organisers Tiger Moth Joy Rides said the company was “shocked and deeply saddened by the events". It said: “Our hearts go out to the family of the international visitor who has tragically lost her life.

“As a small tight-knit company we are devastated by the loss of Jimmy Rae who was an experienced pilot with a passion for flying."

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