Tributes paid to former RAF pilot who died at Norfolk air strip

Flying enthusiasts have paid tribute to a former RAF serviceman who died in an accident at a Norfolk airfield at the weekend.

Alistair Mathie, of Brook Farm, Burgate, died at the private Priory Farm air strip, off Pristow Green Lane, near Tibenham at 3.15pm on Saturday.

The experienced pilot, aged in his 70s, was not inside an aircraft at the time of the incident and was pronounced dead at the scene.

Mr Mathie's death has shocked the flying community with a number of people posting tributes to the Light Aircraft Association (LAA) coach on internet pilot chat forums.

One poster, named Wildcat One, said he served with Mr Mathie in the RAF during the 1980s and had a photo of him with other friends taken in Salalah in Oman in 1967.

He said: 'I've learnt a lot from him, saw him as a mentor, never a peer and thoroughly enjoyed his company and his willingness to help. Al would never accept a penny and it was always a challenge to remunerate him in kind. He did like steak and sausages. We really have lost a true gent and I will miss him.'

Another pilot, Anglian Av8r, added: 'A shocking incident and a terribly sad loss of a real gentleman. I saw Al on Friday and he fed me his wisdom by the bucket full prior to my embarking on a permit test flight. Al epitomised all that is good in the light aviation community and will be sorely missed. RIP.'

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The Air Accident Investigation Branch and Norfolk police are investigating the circumstances surrounding the death.

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