‘One of a kind and irreplaceable’: Friends identify pilot killed in crash west of Calgary

Friends of a 45-year-old aviation enthusiast have identified him as the pilot killed in a crash west of Calgary on Friday.

Two people were in the 1981 Mooney M20K single-engine aircraft when it crashed along Highway 1 near the Springbank Airport just after 3:30 p.m.

The collision killed the pilot and seriously injured a 22-year-old female passenger, who was taken to hospital with serious, life-threatening injuries.

Though RCMP didn’t release the names of either people involved, friends have since confirmed to CTV News the deceased is Michael James Wilton.

Wilton was the president of FlightSimple, an aircraft sales company.

The company’s website has since posted a message saying he will be truly missed by everyone that had the opportunity to meet him.

“He was larger than life, a hero to his twin boys,” the post said. “He was well-loved for his courage, generosity and sense of humour.”

“Mike was one of a kind and irreplaceable.”

Michael James Wilton has been identified as the pilot killed in crash west of Calgary on Friday, April 23, 2022. (Facebook)One friend, who did not wish to be identified, told CTV News the woman in the plane with Wilton was a certified flight instructor who was set to ferry the plane to its new owner after the flight.

He said family hope to hold a memorial for Wilton in the next few weeks. 

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) has taken over the investigation into the fatal crash.

Emergency crews respond to a fatal plane crash west of Calgary on Friday, April 22, 2022.

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