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Canada Pilot who crashed on Gabriola Island remembered as 'kind', 'amazing' man

12:32  12 december  2019
12:32  12 december  2019 Source:   vancouversun.com

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The pilot of the plane that crashed on Gabriola Island on Tuesday night has been identified by friends as Alex Bahlsen, an experienced aviator with his own flight school. Bahlsen, 61, was headed back to Canada from Mexico when the Piper Aerostar he was flying crashed on the island

'An amazing pilot and flight instructor': Friends remember aviator who died in Gabriola Island Alex Bahlsen's friends say he was the pilot flying the small plane that crashed on Gabriola Island Dec. Gabriola Island is one of B.C.'s Gulf Islands , which are clustered in the Strait of Georgia between the

a person standing on a boat: Alex Bahlsen of Mill Bay, BC has been identified as the pilot of a plane that crashed on Gabriola Tuesday night. © Facebook Alex Bahlsen of Mill Bay, BC has been identified as the pilot of a plane that crashed on Gabriola Tuesday night.

The pilot whose plane crashed Tuesday on Gabriola Island was Alex Bahlsen, an experienced aviator and flight instructor, according to friends and colleagues.

“It’s a dark day today in Nanton” are among the few words Karl Kjarsgaard could muster about the death of Bahlsen.

“He could’ve done many, many things in his life, but his passion was flying and aviation,” said Kjarsgaard, the director of the Nanton, Alta., Bomber Command Museum of Alberta,  “The common denominator was aircraft and he just loved to go flying.

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An experienced pilot from Vancouver Island has been identified as one of the three people killed when a small plane crashed down on Gabriola Island A friend told CTV News that Mill Bay resident Alex Bahlsen is among the victims, and that his wife, who is currently on vacation out of country, has been

GABRIOLA ISLAND , B.C. — The BC Coroners Service and police have confirmed multiple fatalities in a plane crash off the east coast of Vancouver Island .Coroners Service spokesman Andy Watson said a small plane crashed on the northwest corner of Gabriola Island around 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday."The

“Alex was always so supportive of the fly-ins and the aircraft coming to visit the museum via his airstrip. He had antique aircraft, and he gave us flybys in his aircraft for our museum events.”

Bahlsen’s private 5,000-foot, paved airstrip was dubbed A.J.’s Flying Ranch, a small patch of land a dozen kilometres north of Nanton.

Bahlsen was born into a well-to-do German family and moved to Nanton, a town of roughly 2,000 an hour south of Calgary, in his 20s after a brief visit, Kjarsgaard said.

“He loved Canada, so he moved lock, stock and barrel from Germany to Canada, then he ended up with us just north of our town,” he said. “That was his base of operations for everything he did.

“At the drop of the hat, he’d go flying. He seemed to be most animated and a fun guy flying his Stearman biplane and he also flew our Tiger Moth WW2 trainer for the museum. It didn’t matter whether he was flying high tech airplanes, or old biplanes, you could see the excitement when he was going flying.”

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On the evening of December 10, 2019 a small airplane, with an unknown number of people onboard, crashed into Gabriola Island during dense fog.

GABRIOLA ISLAND , B.C. – A plane has crashed on Gabriola Island , off the coast of Nanaimo. Gabriola resident Bette Lou Hagen was at home when the plane crashed less than a kilometre She said it was too dark to see what kind of plane it was. The RCMP say officers are responding to reports

Bahlsen moved to Mill Bay on Vancouver Island last year.

Kjarsgaard said Bahlsen often flew between B.C. and Alberta, with occasional trips to Mexico.

“He (Bahlsen) was amazing,” said friend Rasmus Rydstrøm-Poulsen in a text message on Wednesday.

“He was a kind, caring, very intelligent, adventurous and fun guy — very talented,” said Rydstrøm-Poulsen,.

Flying was a passion for 61-year-old Bahlsen, who was a flight instructor and charter pilot.

Rydstrøm-Poulsen, who was at home in Calgary on Wednesday caring for a newborn as he tried to come to grips with his friend’s death, said he suspected it was a technical problem and not pilot error that brought the plane down.

“He was a very, very, extremely capable flight instructor,” said Rydstrøm-Poulsen.

Bahlsen flew small aircraft, including float planes and helicopters, Rydstrøm-Poulsen said.

No other details have been released about the plane or the number of passengers who were on board. The coroners service said confirmation on the number of people who died, their identities and notifying family members could take several days.

Two men, one woman killed in plane crash on Gabriola Island, B.C.: coroner

  Two men, one woman killed in plane crash on Gabriola Island, B.C.: coroner GABRIOLA ISLAND, B.C. — Authorities say two men and one woman died in a plane crash on Gabriola Island, B.C., on Tuesday after the pilot reported an equipment problem. The BC Coroners Service says it has identified one of the three deceased as a man in his 60s from Mill Bay, B.C., while it's still working to confirm the identities of the other man and woman. Friends have said charter pilot Alex Bahlsen was among those killed, describing him as a very good friend and grandfather who lived with his wife in Mill Bay. Transport Canada also says there were three fatalities in the crash of the privately registered Piper plane flying from Bishop, Calif., to Nanaimo, B.C.

On the evening of December 10, 2019 a plane of unknown size crashed into Gabriola Island during dense fog. According to witnesses

The pilot , Alex Bahlsen, was remembered by a friend who said he has flown with Bahlsen in the same aircraft that crashed Tuesday. Residents on Gabriola Island tell CTV News the crash shook their homes and rattled windows across the island . Arriving at the gruesome scene just moments after the

Bahlsen was also a proud grandfather and “very good friend,” who kept up with the latest technologies, Rydstrøm-Poulsen said.

“This is the last thing I was expecting,” said Rydstrøm-Poulsen, noting Bahlsen has two adult daughters and is a grandfather. “He was incredible. He was absolutely wonderful. He was an adventure of a person.

“This is a complete shock.”

Michael Tumbach, manager at NXT LVL Motors Inc. in Cayley, said Bahlsen would let the company host private car racing events on his airstrip.

“Alex would actually shut down his airstrip and let us drag race on it,” he said.

Bahlsen was a generous man and always invited guys from the shop into his house, he said.

“He was always willing to help out and make sure everyone else had a good time.”

The shop took care of Bahlsen’s personal vehicles, including a snow plow for the strip, Tumbach added.

—With files from Zach Laing and Nick Eagland, Postmedia News, and the Victoria Times Colonist

Couple killed in Gabriola Island plane crash were friends of pilot and returning from vacation together .
Allan and Katheryn Boudreau, the couple killed one week ago when their plane crashed on Gabriola Island, B.C., were friends with pilot Alex Bahlsen, and all three were returning from a vacation together in Mexico, according to a family friend. Allan Boudreau was a licensed pilot with years of flying experience himself — and owned two planes, one a float plane, according to the Gwen Jahelka, a friend of the couple's for 15 years.She said Boudreau was working toward getting his commercial pilot's licence and flew out of Nanaimo, B.C.'s Cassidy Airport."That was his latest passion," said Jahelka.

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