The small town of Pemberton is mourning a well known glider pilot who was killed in a plane crash on Friday.
Pemberton Soaring Centre owner Rudy Rozsypalek has been identified as one of four people killed in a crash that occurred when a Cessna 150 collided with a two-seat glider over the town just north of Whistler, The Vancouver Sun reported.
Pemberton Mayor and West Vancouver-Sea to Sky MLA Jordan Sturdy remembered Rozsypalek as a strong advocate of the town's airport, which is located near the mayor's North Arm Farm property.
"He created a business up here that showcases parts of the province that are absolutely magnificent and you will never have another experience like that," Sturdy told the newspaper.
Rozsypalek was leading an Indian visitor on a glider tour when the crash occurred, Whistler's Pique Newsmagazine reported.
A Czechoslovakian immigrant, he and his wife founded the glider business in 1993, and served as a hockey coach in both Whistler and Pemberton.
Rozsypalek was known as an experienced pilot who knew the airspace over Pemberton better than anyone, friends told CBC News.
His sister-in-law Sheila McCutcheon said in a statement that the family is "devastated for our own loss and also deeply saddened for the loss of all the other people who were also involved."