A VICTIM of the Nepal air crash was an “influential and inspirational figure” in his work at a Burnley high school.

Timothy Oakes, aged 57, who died in a plane crash in Kathmandu on the way to see Mount Everest last week.

Mr Oakes was a special advisor to Burnley’s Blessed Trinity RC College and was employed in the education department at Lancashire County Council.

He visited the school frequently to advice on strategic issues such as lesson observation, school improvement and performance management.

Deputy head, Ivan Gaughan, said: “He was a true friend of the school who was very skilled with his advice and provided excellent guidance to Blessed Trinity.

“He was also a very kind and generous man.

“He had only been in the school days before his trip and he was so looking forward to visiting Nepal.

“He will be sadly missed by all here at the school.”

Mr Gaughan added that the school would be represented at Mr Oakes’ funeral once it is arranged.

His widow, Angie Gaunt paid tribute to him.

She said: "Tim was a mountaineer. He lived life to the full and died doing something he always wanted to do. It should never deter people from living out their dreams.

"He always wanted to go to Everest base camp, not climb it, to go to the base camp, and that's what he was doing.”

Paul Dyson-Knight, Lancashire County Council's senior secondary school and post-16 senior adviser and team leader, said: "Tim was a highly respected colleague who had a successful career in education.

"He joined the advisory service in Lancashire in 2008 and has made a tremendous contribution to supporting secondary schools across Lancashire, always dedicated to helping schools to make a positive difference for their students.”