Two British pilots were killed on Thursday when the helicopter they were flying came down in Tourrettes-sur-Loup valley in southern France, the UK government confirmed on Friday.
The two pilots represented the United kingdom in several flying competitions. The pair have previously won five British Championships in over ten years of participating as a team.
Pilots were flying a Robinson R-22 helicopter back to Britain after the aircraft had been on display in an Italian showroom. The helicopter took off from the French town of Sospel near the Italian border at about 9AM local time, but crashed shortly after departing. Preliminary reports indicate that the helicopter suffered a mechanical failure.