Brimslade air crash - a tribute to one of those who tragically died
The wife of one of the men who tragically died in a light aircraft crash near Marlborough has asked Wiltshire Police to release the following tribute.
Kirsty Boazman said: “In the early evening of Thursday 13 July my precious and outrageously talented husband, Paul Gunnell (PG to most), died in a light aircraft accident just outside Marlborough.
“This cruel and unexpected departure has ripped a hole in my heart and existence.
“Paul was an exceptional man, my best friend, a natural-born leader and aviator who spent his entire career flying, amassing more than 17,000 hours privately and commercially.
“He died while doing what he loved most but it was not time to leave this life. We had much planned. I dearly love and so terribly miss my ‘Captain’.
“Paul held dear a circle of equally talented friends, including Rick Offord who writes:
‘After squandering a scholarship to Oxford, PG graduated with a First from Leicester. He joined the RAF in 1982 and aced his way through flying training, picking up all the prizes and a posting to the Harrier fast jets. He became a Harrier Weapons Instructor and ended his RAF service testing and introducing the new GR7 night capability. He subsequently joined Cathay Pacific, flying the Airbus from Hong Kong then the B777 from Heathrow. He flew with Cathay for 23 years.
‘While Deputy Chief Pilot of Cathay’s Airbus fleet, PG notched up a law degree and naturally got another First. Clever and talented but, first and foremost, a gifted aviator and true friend.
'He was always first to the bar, occasionally (actually, often) dipped his toe into the boundaries of acceptable behaviour, and seemed the permanent bachelor. He finally found his soulmate in Kirsty and somewhat settled down. ‘Legend’ is used too often in aviation but if anyone deserves that status, it is PG.’
Kirsty added: “The circumstances of Thursday’s crash will be under investigation for some time but whatever occurred happened quickly. Paul was not alone and our thoughts are equally with the other family who have also lost a loved one, who shared Paul’s sheer joy of being in the air.”
Although this tribute has been released by his wife, no formal identification has yet been made either of Paul Gunnell, 57 from Guernsey or of the other man present in the aircraft who was believed to have been piloting the plane.