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Irish flying fanatic killed in New York coast crash

THIS is the Irish flying fanatic who died tragically after his plane crashed in New York over the weekend.

Cyril McLavin (51), originally from Dysart in Co Westmeath, was killed after the aircraft he was piloting spun out of control and plunged into the sea.

He had just taken off from an airport in Long Island at around 3pm on Saturday with a friend when the pair encountered difficulties.

His 1946 Globe GC-1A aircraft spluttered and spun out of control, before crashing into water close to the airfield.

His family today spoke of their devastation, adding that he had only purchased the plane in July.

Mr McLavin was in the cockpit with pal Dr Andrew Messana (72) when the accident occurred.

Dr Messana, a fellow flying fanatic, also lost his life.

Speaking to the Herald today, Mr McLavin's family said they have been left "devastated" by the news.

His aunt Mary McLavin said: "He absolutely loved flying so we take comfort in the fact that he died doing what he loved.

"He died happy as he was in his beloved plane."