A Cambridge University student has died in Madagascar after falling from a plane.
Alana Cutland’s family said they had been left “heartbroken” and paid tribute to the “bright, independent woman”.
The 19-year-old from Milton Keynes died while on an internship in the African island nation earlier this month, the Foreign Office said.
Reports said she fell from the Cessna-style light aircraft as it flew above the island’s savannah.
In a statement, her family described her as a talented dancer who had a “thirst for discovering more of the world”.
“Our daughter Alana was a bright, independent young woman, who was loved and admired by all those that knew her,” they said.
“She was always so kind and supportive to her family and friends, which resulted in her having a very special connection with a wide network of people from all walks of her life, who we know will miss her dearly.
“Alana grasped every opportunity that was offered to her with enthusiasm and a sense of adventure, always seeking to extend her knowledge and experience in the best ways possible. She was particularly excited to be embarking on the next stage of her education, on an internship in Madagascar complementing her studies in natural sciences.”
The statement continued: “Alana was also a talented dancer and embraced the more creative side of her talents with joy and commitment. Her thirst for discovering more of the world always ensured she made the most of every second of her action-packed young life.
“We are heartbroken at the loss of our wonderful, beautiful daughter, who lit up every room she walked in to, and made people smile just by being there.”
Dr David Woodman, from Robinson College, Cambridge University, issued a statement extending “sincerest condolences”.
“Robinson College is deeply shocked by the news of Alana’s death,” he said. “In her two years here, she made a huge contribution to many different aspects of life in the college. She will be sorely missed by us all.
“The college extends its sincerest condolences to Alana’s family at this extremely difficult time.”