AN INQUEST into the deaths of the woman who taught Carol Vorderman to fly and her student pilot will take place next month.

Aerobatic flying ace Emily Collett was flying with student Thomas Castle when their blue-and-yellow biplane crashed near the B480, between Stonor and Middle Assendon in August 2019.

In the wake of the tragedy, Carol Vorderman, who was taught by Ms Collett to loop-the-loop for a TV programme, said: "Such a terrible, terrible loss.

"Emily was an extraordinary young woman and pilot and my time with her in the air was nothing but a joy.”

An inquest into the deaths of Ms Collett and Mr Castle is due to take place over five days at Oxford Coroner’s Court, starting on July 11.

At previous hearings at the same court, based in the Oxfordshire County Council complex on Castle Street, the coroner has heard the pair took off from White Waltham airfield, near Maidenhead, on the morning of August 24, 2019.

As they flew over south Oxfordshire, the plane came crashing down at around 2pm. Eyewitnesses described seeing the two-winged aircraft ‘nosedive out of the sky’.

The 35-year-old married instructor was in the front seat of the plane. Mr Castle, 30, who was an aircraft engineer, was in the back seat. Both died at the scene.

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This story was written by Tom Seaward. He joined the team in 2021 as Oxfordshire's court and crime reporter.  

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