British aviation pioneer dies after prototype crashes

From the Times

A British pilot hailed as “an aviation entrepreneur” was killed when his prototype plane crashed during take-off on a test flight in Malaysia.

Michael Robert Dacre, 53, was flying a Jetpod aircraft, developed by his own British-based company, Avcen, when it came down at an airstrip in Taiping yesterday.

The plane, which was being tried out at Tekah airstrip near the northern town, is being developed to take off and land over short distances and cruise at low levels at 500km/h (310 mph). It would need only 125 metres (about 400ft) to take off or land, allowing runways to be built close to the centre of cities, and would be quiet enough to not be noticeable above city traffic.

Mr Dacre had reached a height of 200 metres but the aircraft then plummeted to the ground and burst into flames, said Mohd Sobri Abdullah, senior operations officer for Taiping fire and rescue service.
Mike was ex-AAC and sadly that's yet another one who's now in that crew room in the sky.


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