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Thai authorities are investigating the crash of a microlight aircraft in which the pilot died as he was scattering the ashes of a friend.

Tom Grieve, 57, was flying above Pattaya Bay when the craft lost power and crashed.

Friends who were nearby on boats rushed to help, pulling Mr Grieve and a passenger who was also aboard the microlight, from the water.

Brtiain's Daily Telegraph newspaper reports that Mr Grieve was trying to execute an emergency landing when the aircraft clipped a newly constructed pier and crashed into the water.

He died in hospital from chest injuries.

Passenger Patrick Esser, 31, suffered a broken arm.

Mr Esser told The Daily Telegraph “I was making a tribute to my best friend when suddenly things went terribly wrong.

“My friend Stuart Long had died of throat cancer aged just 41, and we were about to scatter his ashes in the sea. I had done a rehearsal flight the previous day with Tom and everything went fine.

“We were at about 2,000 feet when the engine cut. Tom tried several times to start it but failed."

“We went head over heels and crashed into the water upside down.”