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Former B.C. man identified as pilot in seaplane crash in Australia

Vancouver Sun logo Vancouver Sun 2018-01-01 Stephanie Ip
010118-26232728_401996823565049_319029654837068338_o: Former B.C. man identified as pilot in seaplane crash in Australia © HANDOUT / FACEBOOK Former B.C. man identified as pilot in seaplane crash in Australia

A pilot who died following a seaplane crash in Australia on New Year’s Eve is a former B.C. man who had previously worked with Harbour Air.

The single-engine plane sank rapidly after crashing into the Hawkesbury River in New South Wales on Sunday.

Those on board the plane included pilot Gareth Morgan, as well as prominent British businessman Richard Cousins, Cousins’ fiancée and her daughter and Cousins’ two sons. All six have died.

Morgan was identified by a family member to CBC as a former B.C. resident, while another message online noted he had previously worked with the B.C.-based Harbour Air.

At the time of the fatal crash, Morgan had been piloting the plane from tour company Sydney Seaplanes.

The seaplane company’s CEO Aaron Shaw said Morgan’s parents live in Canada and have been notified of his death.

Shaw told a news conference that Morgan was an experienced pilot, beloved by his coworkers.

“On a personal level he was deeply respected and liked by me and all of the team here as a man and as a pilot. He flew my family and I to Palm Beach just before Christmas. We are devastated by his loss,” Shaw said in a statement.

Morgan originally worked for Sydney Seaplanes from 2011 to 2014, before leaving to fly seaplanes in the Maldives. He returned to the company in May of 2017.

The pilot had clocked more than 10,000 hours in the air; 9,000 of those were on seaplanes.

A post shared by Gareth Morgan (@gareth9173) on Mar 27, 2016 at 3:33am PDT

A memorial Facebook page has also been set up in Morgan’s honour.

Cousins was the CEO of the Compass Group. He had recently been recognized by the Harvard Business Review for his performance as CEO of the multinational catering company. The 58-year-old planned to step down from his post in March.

Sydney Seaplanes has suspended its flights as the crash is investigated.

–with files from Associated Press


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