AIRLINE bosses have paid tribute to a young pilot based at Edinburgh Airport who was murdered in a flat next to Easter Road Stadium.
Steven Barrett, a 27-year-old first officer with Flybe, died in the early hours of Saturday following an incident in a flat in Lochend Butterfly Way.
His family have said they are “utterly devastated” by their loss and remain in “complete shock”.
Darren McLauchlan, 23, appeared on petition at Edinburgh Sheriff Court yesterday charged with his murder.
Mr Barrett, who was originally from Bridgend in Wales, joined the RAF in 2007 where he trained to fly Hawks. He joined Flybe as a commercial pilot at the end of last year.
Simon Charles, Flybe’s director of human resources, said: “Our thoughts and sympathies are with Steven’s family at this tragic and very sad time. Steven was a respected member of the Flybe team and will be missed by all those who worked with him.”
Mr Barrett’s grieving family issued a statement via Police Scotland. It read: “We have all been left utterly devastated and are still in complete shock .
“Steven was a wonderful and loving brother, son and grandson. His kindness and love of life were apparent to anyone he met and no one ever had a bad word to say about him.
“He was always there for his family and friends and lit up the world of everyone he knew.
“Steven was also incredibly passionate about flying and after leaving Swansea University, he joined the RAF in 2007 where he trained to fly Hawks and won an award for being pilot of the year.
“He continued his love for flying when he joined the Flybe team as a commercial pilot in 2012 and had a bright and promising future ahead of him.
“We are extremely grateful for all the kind words and messages of support we have received. However, we would now ask that we are left alone to grieve at this incredibly traumatic time.”
McLauchlan made a brief appearance yesterday before Sheriff Paul Arthurson QC. No plea or declaration was made and the case was continued for further inquiry. McLauchlan was remanded in custody.