Tributes paid to East Devon man and woman who died in Somerset plane crash

Tributes have been paid to a pilot and passenger, both from East Devon, who died in a light aircraft crash in Somerset last month.

Jonathan Mann, aged 69, and Margaret Costa, 74, lost their lives when the plane they were travelling on crashed on farmland near Buckland St Mary on August 12.

Pilot Jonathan, known as Joe, lived near Sidmouth and was a husband, dad and granddad.

His family said in a statement: “He was a great man and a talented pilot; the world feels a colder place without his warmth and good humour.

“Joe leaves behind wife Diane, four daughters, three grandsons and a baby granddaughter born in lockdown; all the family had been looking forward to making up for lost time together this year.

“In his lifetime he led campaigns securing fairer rights for blind and disabled workers, and was a great champion for the more vulnerable.

“He set a strong example in standing up for what he believed in and was a dearly loved pillar of the family.”

Loved-ones of grandmother Margaret, who lived in East Devon and was the only passenger on the aircraft, said in a statement: “She was a much-loved mum and a nanny to four grandchildren.

“She was the foundation stone of the family and will be deeply missed by her family and friends.

“Margaret was a talented artist who was one of a few in the world who specialised in fore-edge painting [hidden watercolours found in the spine of gilt-edge books].

“The world feels a less colourful place without her, but she blessed those she knew with many beautiful memories to remember her by.”

Both families have asked for privacy.

Emergency services were called to the aircraft crash at around 10.30am on Thursday, August 12.

Both Joe and Margaret died at the scene.

Superintendent Paul Wigginton, of Avon and Somerset Police, said: “This is a tragic incident in which two people have sadly lost their lives.”

The Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) is investigating the incident.

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