A BUILDER given a flight in a vintage plane as a gift died in front of his family when it came crashing down.
Peter Stacey, 67, and the pilot Christopher Nicholls lost their lives shortly after take-off, an inquest was told.
Peter’s relatives, who had gathered to see him enjoy his dream trip, watched in horror as the 1935 Tiger Moth plunged into a cornfield and burst into flames.
The witnesses said they heard the engine “sounding awful and misfiring” before they say the biplane “corkscrewing down” near Compton Abbas airfield in Dorset.
Opening the inquest in Bournemouth, assistant Dorset coroner Stephen Nicholls said: “The experience was purchased as a present.
“Mr Stacey and members of his family went to the airfield and the weather was fine and dry.”
Plane enthusiast Peter had been given a briefing before the doomed flight on August 26, 2017.
He had lived in nearby Shaftesbury all his life and was well-known locally as a committee member of the town’s football club.
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Christopher, of Blandford, had 47 years’ experience as a professional pilot, including ten flying Tiger Moth trips.
He had previously served in the RAF and flown Boeing 747s for Cathay Pacific.
The inquest continues.
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