Christopher Ingle, aged 56, and Graham Jones, aged 63, were both travelling in an EV-97 Eurostar, a two-seat light sport aircraft, last Sunday, when it crashed at Otherton Airfield near Penkridge.
Staffordshire Police were called to the scene with colleagues from Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service, paramedics from West Midlands Ambulance Service and Midlands Air Ambulance, but nothing could be done to save the men and they were pronounced dead at the scene.
In a tribute to Mr Ingle, his family said: “Christopher was a kind, helpful and thoughtful man who is loved dearly by family and friends.
“We are all devastated by the news of this terrible accident and are so shocked by his passing.
“Christopher enjoyed fitness, martial arts and flying in his plane. He was a taxi driver who had many loyal customers and friends. He was a fantastic uncle and a wonderful son. We will forever miss his attitude to life.
“May he rest in peace.”
In a tribute to Mr Jones, his family said: “Graham was a loving father and grandfather who will be missed by all.
“Please respect our family’s privacy at this time.”
Further tributes have come in from leading figures in the community.
Stafford MP Theo Clarke, whose constituency includes Penkridge, said: "I was very sorry indeed to hear about this tragedy.
"My thoughts and condolences go to the families of both men who tragically lost their lives.
"My thanks go to the emergency services, who as usual, put themselves in danger in order to protect local residents.
"I will be interested to see the outcome of the investigation into the accident and I will ensure that any proposals for safety improvements are reported to the Government for action.”
A spokesman for Penkridge Parish Council said: "On behalf of Penkridge Parish Council, we'd like to extend our deepest condolences to the families and loved ones of the two individuals who tragically lost their lives in the aircraft crash at Otherton Airfield.
"Our thoughts are with them during this incredibly difficult time.
"We are grateful to the emergency services and the West Midlands Ambulance Service for their swift response and efforts. Their professionalism and dedication are commendable.
"We understand that an investigation is underway, led by the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB), in collaboration with Staffordshire Police.
"We fully support their efforts to establish the circumstances surrounding this incident.
"We urge anyone with information, including witnesses or individuals with CCTV or dashcam footage of the area at the time, to come forward and assist the authorities in their investigation.
"As a Parish Council, we stand ready to offer any support or assistance where we can to the affected families and the authorities involved.
"We will work closely with the relevant agencies to ensure that the community is kept informed.
"Once again, our heartfelt condolences go out to the families and friends of the victims."
Detective Inspector Peter Goodwin, of CID, said: “Sadly, two gentlemen have lost their lives following this tragic incident and our thoughts are very much with their families at this difficult time.
“Specially-trained officers are continuing to support them whilst we work in parallel with the Air Accidents Investigation Branch to understand the circumstances leading to their deaths.
"If you have any information, CCTV or dashcam footage that could help us with our inquiries, contact us by calling 101, quoting incident 372 of 4 June, or message us using Live Chat on our website at staffordshire.police.uk
"To report anonymously, call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111."
A spokeswoman for the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) said: “An accident in Penkridge, Staffordshire involving a light aircraft was notified to the AAIB.
"An investigation has been launched and a multidisciplinary team of inspectors was deployed on Sunday afternoon to the accident site.
"The team remained on site until Tuesday gathering evidence and making enquiries as to the circumstances of the flight.”