A British-born former land-speed record-holder has died in a helicopter crash in the US state of New Mexico.
Charles Burnett III, aged 61, was killed alongside a prominent Zimbabwean politician, Roy Bennett, Mr Bennett’s wife Heather, and co-pilots Jamie Coleman Dodd and Paul Cobb.
Mr Cobb’s daughter Andra, who was Mr Burnett’s long-term partner, survived the crash with serious injuries.
Mr Burnett, based in Houston, had set a number of records on land and water.
His most notable achievement came in August 2009, when he was the driver of a British-built vehicle that achieved an average speed of 139.8mph to smash the world record for steam-powered cars.
Before his successful attempt – which took place in California – the record had remained unbroken for 103 years – and Mr Burnett’s car was famously nicknamed the “fastest kettle in the world”.
Giving details of the fatal helicopter crash, New Mexico police said they had launched a frantic search when Ms Cobb called the emergency number but could not give her location.
They confirmed in a statement that the helicopter’s wreckage was found burning on a rancher’s property east of the city of Raton.