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Flying instructor jailed

A flying instructor whose student died in a helicopter crash in North Yorkshire has been jailed for six months by a judge at Leeds Crown Court. Former Army Captain Ian King, aged 53, signed off Paul Spencer's training log just weeks before the tragedy.

He was found guilty of lying to the Civil Aviation Authority. Mr Spencer, a wealthy businessman and his wife, Linda, died when the helicopter he was piloting came down in Rudding Park at Harrogate in January 2008.

Crash pilot worked on major films

In a wide-ranging UK career spanning 18 years, Pete Barnes had done everything from fly air ambulances to working as a pilot on adverts

The pilot of the helicopter which crashed in central London had thousands of hours of flying experience including for films such as Die Another Day and Saving Private Ryan.

Pete Barnes, who died when the helicopter he was flying hit a crane on a high building and crashed onto a street in Vauxhall, had amassed around 9,000 hours of flying time, including 3,500 hours on the type of craft he was piloting when he crashed.

In a wide-ranging UK career spanning 18 years, he had done everything from fly air ambulances to working as a pilot on adverts, TV programmes and films including the James Bond film Die Another Day, Saving Private Ryan and Tomb Raider II.

In 2004 he helped rescue a motorist from a flooded ford in County Durham, while working for the Great North Air Ambulance. He also flew the Newcastle Traffic & Travel helicopter as the Voice of Metro FM and worked as a helicopter instructor.

Helicopter pilot flew for Yorkshire Air Ambulance

It has emerged that the pilot who was killed when his helicopter crashed into a crane in the centre of London had previously flown for Yorkshire Air Ambulance. Peter Barnes was killed when his aircraft came down in thick fog in Vauxhall this morning.

Yorkshire Air Ambulance have paid tribute to Peter saying they are "saddened to hear of the tragic loss and that he was very well respected amongst staff". Around 80 firefighters tacked flames after the helicopter burst into flames. One other person on the ground died - and thirteen others injured.

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Flying instructor on trial

A flying instructor has gone on trial accused of lying to get a pilot's licence for a millionaire who died after crashing his helicopter in North Yorkshire.

Ian King has denied falsely obtaining the licence for Paul Spencer who was killed with his wife in the crash near Harrogate almost five years ago. Lisa Adlam reports.

Flying instructor in court over helicopter death crash

A flying instructor has gone on trial accused of lying to get a pilot's licence for a millionaire who died after crashing his helicopter in North Yorkshire.

Ian King

Ian King appeared at Leeds Crown Court where he denies falsely obtaining the licence for Paul Spencer who was killed in the crash alongside his wife Linda near Harrogate almost 5 years ago.

Paul and Linda Spencer

The jury was told he certified information to speed up Mr Spencer's application which he knew to be incorrect and which failed to meet required flying hours.

The crash site

Flight Instructor in court over helicopter crash deaths

A flight instructor's been in court today over a helicopter crash that killed a millionaire couple in Harrogate.

Paul Spencer and his wife Linda, from Brighouse, died in 2008. 55 year old Ian King from Clifford, near Leeds is accused of fraudulently helping Mr Spencer get a licence.

Site of helicopter crash in woodland in Harrogate, North Yorkshire Credit: ITV, Yorkshire
Paul and Linda Spencer died in Helicopter crash in December 2008 Credit: North Yorkshire Police