Land Speed Record Holder Killed in Helicopter Crash

EDWARDS, CA - AUGUST 25: The financial backer and driver of The British Steam Car Challenge team Charles Burnett III celebrates beside his vehicle after breaking the land speed record for a steam powered car at Rogers Dry Lake on August 25, 2009 in Edwards Air Force Base, Mojave Desert, California, USA. Racing at 139mph, he beat the 127mph record set by Fred Marriott in his Stanley Steamer in 1906. (Photo by Chris Ison - Pool/Getty Images)

A British-born land speed record holder has died in a helicopter crash in New Mexico.

Charles Burnett III was among five people killed in the accident.

Zimbabwean opposition leader Roy Bennett, his wife Heather and pilots Jamie Colman Dodd and Paul Cobb also perished.

Roy Bennett was a leading memebe rof the opposition in Zimbabwe

The alarm was raised by the only survivor, Andrea Cobb, who was in a relationship with Mr Burnett and was Paul Cobb’s daughter.

The group had been travelling to a ranch when the helicopter came down in a remote area of the state and burst into flames.

The helicopter burst into flames after crashing

New Mexico State Police said: : “Raton, New Mexico Police Department received a 911 call from a victim in the crash who reported the incident.

“The victim informed dispatch there were six people aboard the helicopter when it crashed.”

Officials said Ms Cobb had serious injuries but was expected to live.

Mr Burnett, 61, set world record for a steam-powered car in 2009.

Nicknamed the “fastest kettle in the world” the British-built steam supercar reached an average speed of 139.8mph on two runs over a measured mile at the Edwards Air Force Base in California, beating a record that had stood for more than 100 years.