Tributes paid to man in plane crash

COLLEAGUES at Norwich-based Archant, stunned by the sudden death of Ian Davies in a plane crash on Wednesdsay, paid tribute yesterday to his contribution to the company over the past 20 years, and his enthusiasm and passion for his work and leisure interests.

COLLEAGUES at the Journal's publishers Archant, stunned by the sudden death of Ian Davies in the plane crash at Seething on Wednesday, paid tribute yesterday to his contribution over the past 20 years and his enthusiasm for his work and leisure interests.

Archant's group finance director, Adrian Jeakins, said Mr Davies was a keen amateur pilot with a real passion for all aspects of flying.

"His sudden death has been felt by us all. Our thoughts are with his family and in particular his wife Colette and his two children," he added.

Mr Davies, who was 49 and lived at Topcroft, had worked for Archant for 19 years and was responsible for the development of corporate activity and mergers and acquisitions.

He was a member of the corporate executive team and was a director of Archant Regional, Archant Life, Archant Specialist and Archant Dialogue.

Archant chief executive John Fry said everyone at Archant was extremely saddened to hear of the tragedy.

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"Ian has been with the company for nearly 20 years and over that time has contributed to the development of the business into magazines, radio and digital activity," he


Mr Davies had worked for various parts of the Norwich-based Archant operation since 1989 and had previously held roles including business development manager, group strategist, company secretary and managing director of Enterprise Radio.

Before joining the company he had worked as a journalist, radio presenter/producer and television newsreader.

Mr Davies was an experienced light aircraft display pilot who part-owned a de Havilland Chipmunk airplane that he flew out of Seething Airfield.

He was a formation display pilot with the Red Sparrows team and a class rating instructor and, as such, was qualified to teach pilots to fly light aircraft. He had 3,000 hours as a pilot and was a qualified helicopter pilot.

Mr Davies had been consulting editor for Archant Specialist's Pilot magazine for three years and was instrumental in Archant acquiring the title eight years ago.

Archant Specialist managing director Jonathan Hustler said: "I have worked with Ian since the early 90s and he has made a huge contribution to our progress.

"In particular, he was a key architect of our strategy to

develop a magazine business alongside the newspapers.

"He has served on our magazine boards since their inception, and there was many a time when his clever strategic thinking gave us an edge over competitors.

Mr Hustler added: "Ian was a

great enthusiast and connected

his passion for flying with his work for Archant when he led the acquisition of Pilot Magazine in 1999.

"He rarely missed an air show or the launch of a new plane, and his immeasurable contribution will be acutely missed."

Following the tragedy, a second, 51-year-old man who was also in the aircraft was being treated at the Norfolk and Norwich University hospital. As the Journal went to press yesterday he was in a critical condition.