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Pilots identified in wildfire crash

A 58-year-old man from Langley was one of two pilots killed when anairtanker crashed near Lytton, their Abbotsford-based employerconfirmed yesterday.

A 58-year-old man from Langley was one of two pilots killed when an airtanker crashed near Lytton, their Abbotsford-based employer confirmed yesterday.

Pilot Tim Whiting, 58, of Langley and co-pilot Brian Tilley, 36, of Edmonton, died Saturday evening when their twin turboprop airtanker crashed while battling a fire near Jackass Mountain, said Rick Pedersen, Conair’s vice-president and general manager.

“It’s a difficult time,” said Pedersen. “I personally have known Tim for all the time he’s been at Conair, 28 years. It’s a difficult loss.”

The Kamloops-based Convair CV 580 airtanker was battling a forest fire near Lytton when it crashed around 6:30 p.m. Saturday, sparking a new blaze that prevented paramedics and police from reaching the crew. No one else was aboard the plane.

“They were both fine folks and joys to work with, and they’re going to be missed.”

Airtanker crashes are rare and Conair’s previous fatality was almost two decades ago.

 
 
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