THE TRAGIC death of an aerobatics pilot and her student after their plane crashed is being investigated by the Air Accidents Investigation Branch an inquest was told.

Champion pilot Emily Collett and student Thomas Castle had taken off in a blue and yellow biplane from White Waltham airfield near Maidenhead on August 24.

An inquest was opened at Oxford Coroner's Court last Thursday.

It was while flying over Oxfordshire that the aircraft came crashing down. Passers-by reported seeing the plane 'nosedive out of the sky', near the B480 between Stonor and Middle Assendon, southern Oxfordshire.

The 35-year-old married instructor from Uxbridge was in the front seat of the plane and the 30 year old student from Market Harborough who was an aircraft engineer, was in the back when it happened.

Oxfordshire coroner Darren Salter said the crash happened shortly after 2pm and both casualties were pronounced dead at the scene.

Mrs Collett was highly respected and even starred in a BBC TV show in which she taught TV's Carol Vorderman to fly a loop-the-loop.

The inquest heard the AAIB investigation could take up to 12 months and a pre inquest review was scheduled for February 19.