Tributes Pour In For Teen Killed in Mid-Air Crash in UK

Saavan Mundae, his instructor and two others died in a mid-air collision between a light aircraft and helicopter in Waddesdon.


Friends and classmates are posting tributes for Saavan Mundae, the trainee pilot of Indian origin, who was one of the four people killed when a light aircraft and a helicopter collided mid-air in south-east England.

Mundae, 18, was an aeronautics student from Buckinghamshire New University and was training to be a commercial pilot. His instructor Jaspal Bahra, the trainee pilot of the helicopter, 32-year-old Thanh Nguyen, and his 74-year-old instructor Michael Green, also died in the crash that took place on Nov. 17, the police said. Mundae was in a Cessna 152.

In a statement released on Nov. 22, Mundae’s family said: “Saavan’s dream was to become a pilot and we encouraged his passion.

“We are devastated at the loss of our beautiful, kind and very loving son.”

A statement from the university said: ”Saavan’s tutors describe him as a young man who was respected by his peers and very considerate of others. He was a thoughtful student with a keen interest in his degree.”

Mundae and Bahra were British citizens. They took off from Wycombe Air Park, also known as Booker Airfield, near High Wycombe. Training sessions are offered at the park. The aircraft disintegrated on collision and fell to the ground.

The wreckage was taken to Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank headquarters in Hampshire for an investigation.

“The air accident is being investigated by the Air Accident Investigation Branch (AAIB). Our thoughts remain with the families of those involved in the accident. Our family liaison officers continue to offer support the victim’s families,” Thames Valley Police said in a statement following formal identification of the victims.

Mundae’s aircraft crashed shortly after take-off in Upper Winchendon in the village of Waddesdon. The site of the crash was on Waddesdon private estate, owned by the Rothschild banking family. Experts are investigating the reason for the collision.

“These amazing people lost their lives but they both died doing what they love and what they believe in… I fly with these guys and being a pilot is what I’ve wanted to do since I was very young, but it’s hit me hard,” Benjamin Hant, who studied air transport with commercial pilot training along with Mundae, said in a social media tribute.

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