Crash victims were pilots for Formula One private airline

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The Independent Online

Two of the victims of the Hatfield rail crash were pilots who worked for a private airline that flies Formula One drivers around the world.

Two of the victims of the Hatfield rail crash were pilots who worked for a private airline that flies Formula One drivers around the world.

The fourth victim was named yesterday as Robert Alcorn, a 37-year-old New Zealander who had just started a job as a pilot for the McLaren-Mercedes driver Mika Hakkinen.

He was on his way to Leeds with his colleague Steve Arthur, who ran the Atlantic Gulf Aviation company, when they were both killed as the train derailed. Mr Alcorn was planning to marry his long-term partner Angela Smith, aged 31, also a New Zealander.

The safety of light aircraft used to fly racing drivers and other sports stars to events has recently been under scrutiny because of a series of crashes and yesterday Ms Smith's father, Phil Smith, said: "I guess we always worried about him dying in a plane crash, not a train." Mr Alcorn and Miss Smith had been living for two years in Bayswater, London. Ms Smith is planning to fly her partner's body to New Zealand.

Mr Arthur's wife, Lindsey, from Pease Pottage, West Sussex, said she now faced the awful of telling their two children of the loss of their "brilliant" father.

Another victim, Peter Monkhouse, 50, from Headingley, Leeds, who was managing director of Q Marketing in his home city, was travelling back from a business meeting in London. His widow, Susan, aged 49, and three children, Nick, 26, Claire, 23, and James, 15, issued a statement describing him as a keen golfer and football fan, supporting Manchester United, and enjoyed walking the family's dogs, travelling and socialising. His daughter was understood to be flying back from Australia.

Relatives of fourth man who died, Leslie Gray, 43, of Tuxford, Nottingham, were too upset to speak to the press.

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