B.C. pilot, resort owner killed in Honduras plane crash remembered as ‘great person’
A B.C. pilot and resort owner killed in a plane crash in Honduras on Saturday is being remembered as a “great person” who touched several lives in the country.
Several friends and family members have confirmed to Global News that 32-year-old Patrick Forseth was piloting the plane that went down shortly after takeoff in the Roatan area, a popular island destination for tourists to the Central American country.
Four passengers, all of them Americans, were also killed in the crash, according to Associated Press reports citing a U.S. Armed Forces spokesperson.
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The Piper Cherokee Six plummeted into the Atlantic shortly after takeoff from Roatan en route to Trujillo, a port city on Honduras’ northern coast. The cause of the crash is under investigation.
Jenna Forseth, Patrick’s sister, told Global News on the phone from Trujillo that her family were heartbroken.
“My mom keeps saying again and again that a great light in our life is gone, is out,” she said.
Both of her parents are in Honduras with Jenna.
She said her brother was an experienced pilot who loved what he did.
“He lived and breathed airplanes,” she said. “He’s really experienced and anyone who’s flown with him is really, really impressed with him.”
Jenna said piloting runs in the family: their father Larry was a pilot for Air Canada for years and she herself is earning her commercial ratings.
The family is based in the Fraser Valley, with both Patrick and Jenna growing up in Abbotsford.
Their parents, Larry and Linda, own and operate a resort, Tranquility Bay Beach Retreat, in the Trujillo area.
Jenna said the “entire town is in mourning,” adding that Patrick and his parents would use their planes to deliver medical and school supplies to parts of Honduras that had no road access.
“He was a pretty darn good dude,” she said.
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Edil Mendez, a close friend of Forseth’s, told Global News from Roatan that he was devastated by the loss.
“One of the greatest pilots has gone very early,” he said, adding that Forseth was experienced in emergency situations and had helped many people during his time in the country.
“He saved so many lives without asking for payment,” he said. “He was helping so many people in Honduras. He will be really missed here.”
Forseth was also an owner of the Carivida Club Cafe in Trujillo, the restaurant’s manager Raul Trejo confirmed.
“It’s really sad; he was a great person,” Trejo said, adding Forseth had moved to Honduras in 2010 and wanted to “develop the region.”
“He wanted to build something great here,” he said.
Documents show Forseth was the owner of Carivida Resorts, which was intent on building “tourism projects” in the Trujillo area.
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A friend of Patrick Forseth’s, who did not want his name used, told Global News he had talked to Jenna, who confirmed the pilot’s death.
Global Affairs Canada confirmed earlier on Sunday they were providing consular services to the victim’s family.
—With files from the Canadian Press and the Associated Press
© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.