Howard Cox spent 30 years building a BD5 similar to James Bond’s BD-5J from Octopussy, only to meet his end flying the very same plane to an Irish air show on Saturday. He was 67.

Mr. Cox was an experienced aviator and engineer who managed to put together his single seater from a kit despite the parts shortage created after the manufacturer went bust.

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According to The Telegraph, he was also battling cancer while working to debut his aircraft to the public, but the BD5 rewarded his creator by becoming a show favorite wherever they flew.

On Saturday, the flying expert took his friend and his two children for a flight in another vintage plane before preparing to travel to Shannon for the show. He crashed the BD5 in a field in the Clonea Upper area later that evening.

While Ireland’s Air Accident Investigation Unit is examining the cause of the crash, a minute’s silence was held at the Foynes Air Show in memory of the popular pilot.

Photo credit: William Murphy


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