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Helicopter crash ends plans for school

Sept. 22, 2011 – Helicopter pilot Rod Phillipson was hoping to open a flight school at the Langley Regional Airport, before he crashed on a flight to Kelowna on Friday evening.


September 22, 2011
By Matthew Claxton | Lanley Advance

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Sept. 22, 2011 – Helicopter pilot Rod Phillipson was hoping to open a flight school at the Langley Regional Airport, before he crashed on a flight to Kelowna on Friday evening.

Airport manager George Miller said Phillipson, whose body was found Tuesday near Coquihalla Mountain in the wreckage of his Aerospatiale A350, had worked and flown out of Langley since 2004.

A resupply helicopter from Wildcat Helicopters had been doing unrelated work in the search area when the pilot noticed the crash scene.

"We would like to thank the communities for their support through phoning in with search tips and for their respect for the family's wishes for privacy during this difficult time," said searchmaster Capt. David Burneau of the 442 Transport and Rescue Squadron, 19 Wing Comox.

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Phillipson's company, Sky FX, did a bit of everything, Miller remembered.

"Primarily he was a charter guy," he said.

However, Phillipson also flew pipeline inspections, flew both fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters, and was working to open a flight school. He hadn't yet got his certification when he crashed, Miller said.

This was not Phillipson's first crash.

Several years ago, he crashed in an airplane while travelling to the Lower Mainland from the Okanagan, due to icing that stopped his engine.

"He was very fortunate he survived it," Miller said. The pilot suffered a serious eye injury at the time, Miller recalled.

The crash took place in the same general area as Friday's fatal incident.

Visit the Langley Advance article page to read more.


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