Family pays tribute to plane crash pilot, 56

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A man killed in a plane crash in Aldham, near Hadleigh, has been described as an “inspiration” by his family.

Gregory Clipstone died when his light aircraft came down near farmhouses on Saturday morning. The plane hit overhead power lines as it crashed at around 11.20am and came to rest in a pond.

Emergency services were called to the incident, but the 56-year-old was pronounced dead at the scene. It is thought he died on impact.

The family of Mr Clipstone, from Opal Avenue in Ipswich, paid tribute to him in a statement released through police.

“Greg was a loving husband, father, brother, friend and recently a grandfather,” the family said.

“He enjoyed spending time with family and friends, flying, and riding his motorcycle. He was always willing to help his friends and family.”

Mr Clipstone, who was a mechanic, had six siblings and two children, James and Sarah. His partner Thirza Witts lives in Clare.

“He was a firm believer that you can achieve whatever you put your mind to,” the statement read. “He has always been an inspiration as a father and to those around him. He will be greatly missed.”

Fire crews from Hadleigh, Halstead and Bury St Edmunds were among those who attended the crash along with police who cordoned off the area.

“Our condolences go out to the casualty’s family for their tragic loss,” said a Suffolk Fire and Rescue spokesman.

An investigation into the crash, in which no-one else was injured, is being carried out by the Air Accident Investigation Branch (AAIB).

The plane was recovered on Sunday and the cordon around the site lifted in the afternoon.

Suffolk Police are supporting the investigation and have spoken with witnesses. An inquest will be heard at a later date.