Tributes to former Scottish rally champion who died in plane crash

Donald Milne (middle) and Bob Wilson (right) with the Burmah petroleum Marketing Director, Richard Miles (left) after winning the 1994 Burmah Scottish Rally Championship.

A former Scottish Rally champion and North Sea oil boss has died following a plane crash.

Donald Milne, who won the Scottish Rally Championship in 1991, was flying a biplane when it was struck by a helicopter at the private Mutxamel airfield near Alicante in Spain on Saturday.

The 65-year-old, who was originally from Banchory, later died from his injuries.

His two sons, Quintin and Freddie have flown out to Spain from to be with their mother, Fiona. It is understood a private funeral service was held there yesterday.

Mr Milne was a well-known figure in both the motorsports circuit – where both his sons have competed – and in the north-east business sector, where he headed up offshore supply firm Apex Tubulars before moving to Spain.

The tragedy has sent shockwaves through the motorsports world, with tributes flooding in.

Mr Milne’s former co-driver, Bob Wilson, of Nairn, said he was still trying to come to terms with the news.

He said last night: “I don’t want to say too much out of respect for the family but I had five wonderful years as his co-driver.”

The Scottish Rally Championship posted on its official Facebook page: “We are extremely saddened to hear of the sudden passing of 1991 Scottish Rally Champion, Donald Milne. Our thoughts and sympathies go out to Quintin, Freddie and family.”

Friend Mark Middleton also paid tribute and wrote: “He was a good friend of mine in the 80s and 90s, RIP Donald. Commiserations to all the family. What a hellish end to a hellish year.”

Mr Milne began seriously competing in rallies in the mid-1980s and took part in a number of events before the end of the decade.

In 1991, he reached the pinnacle of the sport nationally alongside Mr Wilson and took home the championship.

He was a contemporary of a young Colin McRae, who died in a helicopter crash aged just 39 in 2007.

After winning the Scottish Rally Championship, Mr Milne began focusing on another passion – flying. It is understood he had recently bought two more aircraft, which he had not yet picked up.

Mr Milne’s family could not be reached for comment.