British investor and Zimbabwean opposition leader die in Huey UH-1 crash


Picture taken from video footage of the crash, courtesy of KOAT TV news.

British-born investor and world speed record holder Charles Burnett III’s helicopter crashed in the New Mexico mountains yesterday, killing all but one of the passengers.

The Zimbabwean opposition leader Roy Bennett, his wife Heather, pilot Jamie Coleman Dodd, and co-pilot Paul Cobb all died in the crash. The only surviving passenger was Burnett’s long-time partner, and daughter of the co-pilot, Andra Cobb, the Telegraph reported.

The helicopter was transporting the group to a ranch when it crashed.

Burnett held the world record for the fastest land speed reached in a steam-powered vehicle. He christened his steam-powered car the “fastest kettle in the world”.

Bennett was the treasurer-general of Morgan Tsvangirai’s Movement for Democratic Change – the opposition to President Mugabe – and was one of the strongest of Mugabe’s opponents. He had spent 15 months in a Zimbabwean prison in 2004.

The helicopter was operated by Sapphire Aviation LLC. The company is linked to Charles Burnett III, the Washington Post reports.