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‘A natural gentleman’: Tributes to former Barkingside pupil and young pilot killed in crash

PUBLISHED: 14:00 05 May 2016

Ajvir Singh Sandhu receives the Hennessy Trophy and Philip Sassoon Memorial Prize at the RAF College Cranwell Graduation parade at the end of the initial officer training course /Credit: Crown Copyright

Ajvir Singh Sandhu receives the Hennessy Trophy and Philip Sassoon Memorial Prize at the RAF College Cranwell Graduation parade at the end of the initial officer training course /Credit: Crown Copyright

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An RAF pilot who was killed in a crash in North Yorkshire on Saturday, was described as exceptionally talented and “a natural gentleman”.

Former Ilford County High School pupil Ajvir Singh Sandhu, 25, was killed alongside 21-year-old co-pilot Cameron James Forster after their two-seat aerobatic training aircraft came down in a field.

The pair were based at the RAF station in Linton-on-Ouse, North Yorkshire.

Station commander Gp Cpt Ian Laing said: “They were both exceptionally talented young men in the prime of their lives.

“The thoughts of everyone at RAF Linton-on-Ouse are with their family and friends at this difficult time.”

The young pilot joined the 241 (Wanstead and Woodford) Squadron Air Training Corps as a cadet in 2004 and was appointed a Lord Lieutenant’s cadet for London in 2009 before going to Durham university.

During his time at the Air Training Corps, he reached the rank of Cadet Warrant Officer and was senior member of one of the largest squadrons in the air cadets.

An active member of the squadron, he also trained as a mountain leader, climbed the Alps, visited the Falklands and completed a parachute course.

Squadron leader Jerry Godden said: “His first love was flying and he showed a natural ability in this area.

“He was a mainstay of the squadron and an example of the very best of the youth of this country.

“He was liked and respected by all who met and served with him in the cadets. He was an inspirational leader and a natural gentleman, and will be greatly missed.”

Student pilot Hardeep Singh Marwah, 27, of Ilford, was in the air cadets with Mr Sandhu.

“I found Ajvir to be extremely motivated and had a very bright future ahead of himself. This is a great loss.”

The Air Accident Investigation Branch has launched an inquiry.


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