Suffolk pilot killed in crash

A WELL-KNOWN Suffolk businessman and amateur pilot has been killed in a light aircraft crash in northern Turkey.Tributes have been paid to Michael Newman, of Benhall, near Saxmundham, who was flying a two-seater plane to Pakistan when it apparently ran into horrendous weather conditions and crashed on Sunday.

A WELL-KNOWN Suffolk businessman and amateur pilot has been killed in a light aircraft crash in northern Turkey.

Tributes have been paid to Michael Newman, of Benhall, near Saxmundham, who was flying a two-seater plane to Pakistan when it apparently ran into horrendous weather conditions and crashed on Sunday.

The Sky Arrow 650T plane had taken off from Trabzon Airport, in northern Turkey, when it went missing. Authorities located the aircraft yesterday in a mountainous area near the town of Koprubasi.

Mr Newman, along with his passenger Pakistani Zaka Ulab Bhamgoo, were found dead and the cause of the crash is now under investigation.


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Known as Mick to his friends and family, the 53-year-old was the co-founder and co-director of Ipswich-based classic yacht designing company, Spirit Yachts Ltd, for around 15 years.

He had been involved in the latest Bond film, Casino Royale, when the production company borrowed one of the Spirit yachts.

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His eldest son George said he had been planning the trip for the best part of three years with his friend and co-pilot and described the project as “very dear to my father's heart”.

He said: “Flying was a great hobby about which he was very enthusiastic.”

Mr Newman's business partner Sean McMillan said he was “devastated” about the accident, describing him as “an extremely talented man” and “a very, very keen amateur flyer”.

Mr McMillan explained how his colleague and Mr Bhamgoo, also a pilot and aged 53, had met several years ago at a charity flying event, raising money for a Pakistani village.

He said: “Their joint love of planes joined them in a very close friendship.

“They had spent time flying in each other's countries and this was their great adventure from England to Pakistan. It was Mick's own plane.

“They reckoned it would take three weeks. They had organised and planned it extremely well but they couldn't plan for catastrophic bad weather at the wrong moment.

“From what I can understand, the weather closed in over the mountains.”

The family is receiving consular assistance, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office confirmed.

According to Turkey's English newspaper, Today's Zaman, the plane had to return to Trazbon on Saturday after originally departing for Tabriz in north-west Iran, due to adverse weather conditions.

The plane set off again for Tabriz on Sunday morning.

n. Pay your tributes to Mr Newman by writing to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or email eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

PANEL

Just six months ago Mick Newman told of how he got involved in the latest James Bond film Casino Royale.

Ipswich based Spirit Yachts, of which he was co-founder and co-director, received a call from the production manager Richard Carless who said he wanted to borrow one of the luxury vessels.

He said: “I said that we preferred to sell them and if he was going to blow them up the some of our owners were a bit funny about that sort of thing.

“But he assured us this was going to be Bond's yacht and would be required for two scenes, one in the Bahamas and one in Venice and would we sail it for them?

“It sounded great.”

Mr Newman, his wife Wiss and son Will not only had to deliver and crew the 54ft yacht Spirit, they also sailed the vessel on camera and doubled for the stars.

He said: “It was a wonderful experience and totally unexpected.”

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