Tributes have been paid to a man who died following a light aircraft crash in Belchamp Walter.

Stuart Penfold, 54, from Halstead, died after the Luton Minor aircraft he was flying crashed into fields just before 11.50am on Sunday.

No one else was on board the aircraft.

In a tribute, Mr Penfold’s family said: “In loving memory of a devoted, reliable and wonderful husband, father and grandfather.

“A passionate light aircraft flyer and a keen member of Braintree Motorcycle Club, on a journey to his next destination."

Chelmsford Weekly News:

  • Stuart Penfold died in air crash on Sunday

Mr Penfold was a member of Braintree and District Motorcycle Club, which also paid tribute to him.

In a statement the club said: "It's with a very heavy heart that we have to report that club stalwart Stuart Penfold was tragically killed in that light aeroplane crash at Belchamp Walter you may have seen in the news.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, Richard, Carol and Helen.

"Stuart put a tremendous amount of work into this club, particularly the running of the junior academy dates, and leaves a massive void we will struggle to fill.

"RIP our friend."

Friends paid heartfelt tributes to Mr Penfold on the club's social media site.
Graham Davies said: "I heard the news of a light aircraft crashing this morning.

"This is very close to where I live and my first thought was I hope it wasn't Stuart.

"I am heartbroken to hear that it was.

"I spent a year or so on the committee of the Braintree club and got to know Stuart quite well.

"He was kind, warm and had a wealth of great stories. He certainly licked the lid of life.

"My thoughts are with his family and the many people who knew him, and whose lives he enriched."

Andrew John Prill said: "Such a tragic loss especially to anyone who had the privilege to know him or count him as a friend. Sincere condolences to the family."

David Eggleton said: "He was enthusiastic about aeroplanes, motorcycles and old cars. But mainly I shall remember him for always having that infectious smile."

Police are assisting the Air Accidents Investigation Branch with their inquiries into the circumstances surrounding the crash.

Anyone who witnessed the incident or saw the aircraft shortly before it crashed is urged to contact Braintree police station on 101 quoting incident 503 of February 3.