Flying club pays heartfelt tribute to friend killed in Spitfire crash

Spitfire pilot dies
Enstone Flying Club / ACESquadron

Enstone Flying Club, near Oxford in the United Kingdom (UK), has paid a heartfelt tribute to friend and member Trevor Bailey, who tragically died while flying a replica Spitfire known as Molly Rose. 

The Spitfire enthusiast was killed on Tuesday, August 22, 2024, after the light aircraft crashed near Enstone, West Oxfordshire. 

The 68-year-old pilot, who was a closely involved with the club’s Spitfire ACESquadron, was sadly pronounced dead at the scene by police officers in attendance.  

Enstone Flying Club said that Trevor Bailey’s death has “affected the whole flying community” and that well-wishers who had flown and trained with him had been phoning the group to share their stories. 

“He will be remembered for his kindness, generosity, fabulous laugh and beaming smile that could light a room. We shall all miss him very much,” the flying club wrote.  

The club added: “Our combined feeling of loss bears no comparison to his family’s, who are in our thoughts.” 

The Molly Rose plane is a two seat Supermarine Spitfire MK26B, a 90% scale replica of the original. 

On Wednesday, August 23, 2023, the Air Accident Investigation Board (AAIB) confirmed that a team of inspectors was on site gathering evidence and examining the aircraft. 

The following day, Thames Valley Police confirmed that the aircraft had been removed from the area at around 3pm and that a formal identification of the victim had yet to take place. 

The police are asking anyone with information, footage or photographs relating to the incident to contact them. 

Superintendent Jen Hogben, local policing area commander for Cherwell and West Oxfordshire, said: “Firstly, our thoughts are still with the loved ones of the victim of this tragic incident. A specially trained officer is supporting them, and we would ask for their privacy to be respected at this difficult time. Our investigation into the circumstances of the crash continues though and we are still liaising with His Majesty’s coroner and the AAIB as they conduct their independent safety investigation. I would again kindly ask members of the public not to upload images of the incident to social media out of respect to those involved.”

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