WELL-KNOWN broiler farmer Alan Simpson has died after a plane he was co-piloting crashed in the Canadian wilderness.

Mr Simpson, 72, was co-piloting a Piper PA-46 Malibu that he had recently bought in West Virginia back to the UK.

It crashed into a mountain in poor weather in Labrador, Canada.

His co-pilot Sam Rutherford survived the crash after reportedly alerting rescue services to his location by texting his wife in Belgium.

Mr Rutherford was rescued, but Mr Simpson was pronounced dead at a clinic in Makkovik.

Mr Simpson’s family said he had been flying for more than 35 years, and that they were “eternally grateful” to the search and rescue teams that helped find the plane.

“Alan was a vibrant character who lived life to the max and will be deeply missed by the extensive group of family and friends he has left behind,” his family told the BBC.

Tributes were paid to Mr Simpson, who’s family farms half a million broilers in Shropshire. The NFU said it was “deeply saddened” by the news.