A pilot who died when his light aircraft smashed into cliffs in Cornwall may have committed suicide, it was suggested today.
Devon and Cornwall Police confirmed that suicide is one of the lines of inquiry being pursued by detectives investigating why former Royal Navy officer Andrew Stillwell-Cox’s plane crashed just minutes after taking off at Perranporth airfield on Saturday.
Emergency services found the burning wreckage dangling precariously close the cliff edge at Sheep Rock, surrounded by pockets of fire.
Nobody else was thought to have been in the aircraft and there were no casualties on the ground.
The family of 55-year-old Mr Stillwell-Cox paid tribute to the “highly respected” former Royal Navy officer.
“He was highly respected and lived his life for the Navy.”
”On retirement he qualified as a private pilot flying out of RAF Spitfire Station at Perranporth where he was very highly thought of.
“Andrew was generous and greatly supportive of his friends and they will miss him enormously.
”He was the stalwart of the Spitfire Society having organised this year's major events at Polesden House near Dorking, Surrey, in celebration of the Spitfire and the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.“