Cameron James Forster, 21, from Sussex, and Ajvir Singh Sandhu, 25, from Essex, were killed as their light aircraft crashlanded in a field off Mains Lane, between Castle Howard and the A64.
The pair were flying a Slingsby T67 Firefly, hired from Full Sutton Flying Centre near York.
The Air Accident Investigation Board is carrying out an investigation.
Cameron’s parents said the talented musician, pilot and sportsman was “always positive” and urged people to remember his “positive influence”, adding: “That above all would make him smile.”
They said: “Cameron is a loving son, friend and a caring brother to his two sisters. We will miss him in more ways than can be imagined.
“He was in the prime of his life, living his dream and he excelled in everything he put his mind to.
“Cameron was a larger than life character and was always positive.
“He would not wish any of us to mourn his passing; rather celebrate his time with us and his achievements.”
Ajvir’s parents said their son was a “true born leader” and had a “natural ability to light up any room.”
They said: “He achieved more in his short time than some achieve in a lifetime, but he still found time to be one of our best friends.”
Both officers were student pilots undertaking Basic FastJet Training (BFJT) with Number 72 (Reserve) Squadron at Royal Air Force Linton-on-Ouse near York.
Squadron Commander, Wing Commander Chris Cartmell, also paid tribute, saying the pair had been taken “so early in what would have undoubtedly been highly successful flying careers.”
He added: “All the members of 72 (Reserve) Squadron are deeply saddened by the loss of our close colleagues and friends who were involved in the tragic flying accident on Saturday.
“Ajvir and Cameron were extremely popular members of our Squadron and their loss will be keenly felt by all.”
Their fellow student pilots said Aj “was one of the most charismatic members of BFJT” and an “incredibly capable pilot.”
He was an “exceptional friend to everyone and would always fill the bar with laughter at every opportunity.”
Cam “was the quintessential RAF pilot: talented in the air, incredibly enthusiastic about all things flying, and eager about every opportunity to get stuck in with his friends. He was very much the hub of a tightly knit social group and a face that everybody always wanted to see in the bar.
“We’re absolutely devastated to have lost such a positive, entertaining and loyal friend.”