Tributes for 'wonderful' Scots killed in air crash

TRIBUTES have poured in for the Scottish siblings killed when their private plane crashed in Florida.

The rented Cessna aircraft, piloted by 21-year-old trainee Carly Beattie, plunged into swampland during a pleasure flight on Thursday, where it took rescuers hours to recover their bodies.

Miss Beattie - who was in the United States as part of her training to become a commercial airline pilot - and her 24-year-old brother Daniel were described as "wonderful kids" by a friend of their parents, Elaine, 52 and Tom, 54, who live in Penicuik.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Retired pharmacist Mr Beattie and his wife were on holiday in Florida with Daniel, visiting their daughter, when the accident occurred.

The couple are said to be devastated by the loss of their only children.

"I have known Tom all my life," said pharmacist George Allan. "Daniel and Carly were just wonderful kids. It's like losing one of your own and I do not know how Tom and Elaine are coping. It's an awful tragedy."

Miss Beattie, a promising runner who had ambitions of competing in the Olympics, had an illness which affected her white blood cells.

But Bill Walker, her coach at Edinburgh Athletics Club, said she had fought through her illness and revealed plans for a race and a cup to be named in Miss Beattie's memory.

"She wouldn't give in and she never complained," he said. "It had always been her dream to be a pilot. This is devastating."

Professor Ruth Farwell, vice-chancellor of Bucks New University, where Carly was in the second year of her degree in air transport with commercial pilot training, It is believed it could be months before the cause of the accident is known - although it is thought that Miss Beattie made a distress call seconds before the plane crashed.