TRIBUTES have been paid to a West Berkshire helicopter pilot who was killed in a mid-air collision in Buckinghamshire on Friday.
Captain Mike Green, who lived in Shaw, was described as a “gentleman” and an “extraordinarily gifted pilot” by those who knew and worked with him, following his death.
The 74-year-old was one of four men killed in the collision involving a Cabri G2 helicopter and a Cessna 152 light aircraft.
Capt Green, an instructor on board the Cabri G2, Thanh Nguyen, aged 32, Savaan Mundae, 18, and Jaspal Bahra, 27 all died when the two aircraft collided at about 1,000ft above Waddesdon, near Aylesbury at around noon.
Capt Green is survived by his partner, Mary, his son, daughter and grandchildren.
Newbury deputy mayor Margo Payne, a neighbour of the veteran instructor, said she was saddened and shocked to hear the news.
Paying tribute on social media on Saturday, she said: “Devastated our neighbour Mike was helicopter pilot killed yesterday. A gentleman and good neighbour and a professional.”
According to Buckinghamshire-based Helicopter flying school Helicopter Services, Capt Green had learned to fly in the Royal Armoured Corps before completing the Army Pilot Course.
He had tours of Germany, Cyprus and Malta before becoming a helicopter instructor.
Colleagues said they had been “crushed” by news of his death.
In a statement, the flying school, where Capt Green had worked for 15 years, said: “Mike was an extraordinarily gifted pilot, instructor and examiner, greatly respected by students and his peers alike.
“He was a true gentleman, a disappearing kind.
“He will be greatly missed by all who knew him and were touched, coached and mentored by him, as there will be many pilots, both military and civilian, who owe him a huge debt of gratitude.
“His passing leaves a huge void, not only with his family and at Helicopter Services, but also in the helicopter world. He is greatly missed by his partner Mary, his son, his daughter and grandchildren.”
Both aircraft are believed to have been on training flights and had taken off earlier that day from Wycombe Air Park – around 20 miles from the crash site.
The accident is currently being investigated by the Air Accident Investigation Branch.