THE TRAGIC death of an aerobatics pilot and her student after their plane crashed in Oxfordshire has been heard at inquest.

Champion pilot Emily Collett, from Uxbridge, was flying with student Thomas Castle, from Market Harborough, when their plane came down on August 24.

An inquest opening yesterday at Oxford Coroner's Court heard the pair had taken off in the blue and yellow biplane from White Waltham airfield near Maidenhead, Berkshire, that morning.

It was while flying over Oxfordshire that the aircraft came crashing down, as passerby's reported seeing the plane 'nosedive out of the sky', near the B480 between Stonor and Middle Assendon, southern Oxfordshire.

The 35-year-old married instructor was in the front seat of the plane, and the 30 year old student, who was an aircraft engineer, was in the back when it happened.

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Oxfordshire coroner Darren Salter said the crash happened shortly after 2pm and both casualties were pronounced dead at the scene.

He added: "At this stage it is unknown what caused the crash but it is being investigated."

Tributes have flooded in for the pair following the tragic crash including a touching statement from the British Aerobatics Association.

Graeme Fudge, from the association, said: "Emily Collett was an incredibly talented and highly experienced aerobatic pilot, winning both the Standard and Advanced British national titles.

"She also represented Great Britain at aerobatics at world championships in Romania and South Africa.

"Loved and respected by all who knew her she had a passion for passing on her skills and knowledge to her students, and was recently overjoyed at one of her students taking the Sports National title.

"A caring and considerate nature, Emily’s generosity in sharing her knowledge and time to help others was well known in the aerobatic community, helping many pilots achieve their goals.

"Emily will be sadly missed by all who knew her and our thoughts are with her family and friends who have lost a wonderful daughter, wife and friend."

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Mrs Collett ran a company called Ultimate Aerobatics with husband Michael who is also a pilot.

The company website says Mrs Collett started flying in 2001 and set out to learn aerobatics as soon as she could.

Mrs Collett also starred in a BBC TV show in which she taught TV's Carol Vorderman to fly a loop-the-loop.

On Twitter the former Countdown star said: "Such a terrible terrible loss.

"Emily was an extraordinary young woman and pilot and my time with her in the air was nothing but a joy.

"My heart goes out to her husband Mike, to Emily's family and to Tom Castle's family in their grief. Rest In Peace."

A full inquest into the pair's death will be held after a investigation is completed by the Air Accidents Investigation Branch.

The inquest heard it could take up to 12 months and a pre inquest review was scheduled for February 19.