A British-born former land-speed record-holder, Charles Burnett III (61), died in a helicopter crash in the US state of New Mexico


Wednesday 17th January 2018

A British-born former land-speed record-holder, Charles Burnett III (61), died in a helicopter crash in the US state of New Mexico. He 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. 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”.


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