Flying instructor charged over helicopter deaths

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A flying instructor will appear in court over a helicopter crash which killed millionaire Paul Spencer and his wife Linda.

The couple – from Brighouse in West Yorkshire – died when their black Gazelle helicopter crashed in woodland in the grounds of Rudding Park Hotel, near Harrogate in North Yorkshire, on January 26, 2008.

Ian King, from Wetherby, West Yorkshire, will appear at Haywards Heath Magistrates’ Court, in West Sussex, on February 24, charged with intent to deceive, making a false representation for the purpose of procuring for Mr Spencer the granting of a private pilot’s licence.

The allegation relates to the instruction and examination Mr Spencer undertook for his private pilot’s licence in December 2007, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) said.

Mr Spencer, 43, and his wife, 59, had just returned from a holiday in the Caribbean when they were killed.

The couple, who ran Country Baskets, a business which sold dried flowers, were regular visitors to the hotel.

Flight examiner John Jackson was charged with making or omitting entries, or destroying a log book which should have been kept, a CAA spokesman said.

He received a conditional discharge at Haywards Heath Magistrates’ Court on February 3.