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Pilot Killed In Cape Cod Plane Crash Was Dedicated Husband, Purdue Alumnus

Daily Voice Hampshire & Franklin Counties logo: MainLogo Daily Voice Hampshire & Franklin Counties 12/8/2022 David Cifarelli

Carl Willis spent his years flying from coast to coast after finishing his education at Purdue University's College of Pharmacy. © Provided by Daily Voice Norfolk County MA Carl Willis spent his years flying from coast to coast after finishing his education at Purdue University's College of Pharmacy.

An 83-year-old man who died in a plane crash on Cape Cod was a seasoned pilot, devoted husband and accomplished alumnus of Purdue University. 

Carl "Rae" Willis died after his small plane crashed at Falmouth Airpark while he and his wife, Candace Oldham, were coming home from a day trip to Westfield last week.

Willis was brought to Falmouth Hospital where later died while Oldham was taken to Rhode Island Hospital with serious injuries, authorities said. 

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Willis served as the Vice President of Corporate Business Development at Berlex Laboratories until his retirement, according to an alumni profile published in the Mortar & Pestle. 

Willis also stayed active during his time at Purdue, accruing a bachelors, master's and PhD from the university's College of Pharmacy. He also served on the Dean's Industrial Advisory Council for several years and was honored as a Distinguished Alumnus by the College of Pharmacy in 1990.

Willis and Oldham, who are both pilots and lived in Falmouth Airpark, would often come back to visit Purdue by taking their personal plane. The couple has also repeatedly flew across the United States, to Canada and the Bahamas, the profile read.

"Rae was a great aviation enthusiast who had been a champion of introducing new pilots to flying through the chapter's Young Eagles program," David Fisichella, president of the Cape Cod chapter of the Experimental Aircraft Association said on Facebook

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It is with great sadness that I must report the death of Chapter member Rae Willis, and the serious injury of his wife...

Posted by EAA Chapter 51 - Cape Cod on Sunday, December 4, 2022

"Rae was also a tireless supporter of Candie's participation in the all-women, Air Race Classic in which she would compete in their Mooney," Fisichella continued. "Rae will be deeply missed by the chapter and members of the Cape Cod aviation community." 

Willis also gave back to his university by giving presentations to current students about his post-graduation experiences and supporting Willis-Oldham Scholarship fund.

The Federal Aviation Association and the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating the crash, according to authorities. 

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