Police believe they have identified a pilot who died in a helicopter crash near Aldborough, Boroughbridge.
In a statement, North Yorkshire Police said that although formal identification is yet to take place, the deceased is “believed” to be Barry Dodd, Lord-Lieutenant for North Yorkshire.
The force said: “Sadly, the pilot of the private aircraft following the helicopter near Aldborough was pronounced dead at the scene.
“Whilst we await formal identification, we believe he is Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant for North Yorkshire, Mr Barry Dodd CBE.”
The statement confirmed that Dodd’s family were being supported by specially trained officers, and requested their privacy “at this very sad time”.
There were no other passengers aboard.
Rescue services were called to the scene near Aldborough, Boroughbridge at around 1.20pm on Wednesday to reports of a helicopter crashing into a field.
Speaking at the scene of the accident, Superintendent Dave Hannan, of North Yorkshire Police, said: “Unfortunately I can report that one person, the pilot, is deceased in the helicopter.
“We are working with the Air Accidents Investigation Branch and the Civil Aviation Authority to establish what the cause of that crash was.”
North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue service said on Twitter that a number of engines from Boroughbridge, Knaresborough, Harrogate and Ripon had been sent to the incident.
The position of Lord-Lieutenant of North Yorkshire is approved by the Queen and sees the individual responsible for the promotion of civic, commercial, voluntary and social activities within the county.
The Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, said: “I was shocked and saddened to hear of Barry’s death.
“He was greatly admired and valued across the county, working tirelessly with businesses and charities to encourage and inspire them in their enterprises. He will be sorely missed.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with Barry’s family at this time and especially his widow, Frances.
“May he rest in peace and rise in glory.”
Dodds’ widow said: “Barry was a wonderful man. He lived his life according to his values of honesty and integrity.
“He was intelligent, compassionate and visionary. He enjoyed great business success but just as important to him was his devotion to public service and helping others.
“He was particularly proud to serve as Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of North Yorkshire.
“More than anything however, he was a loving family man and I will miss him enormously.”