Pilot who died in Australian plane crash was from B.C.
Friends are mourning the death of a pilot from B.C. who was one of six people killed in a seaplane crash just north of Sydney, Australia on New Year's Eve.
Gareth Morgan, 44, was piloting a Sydney Seaplanes aircraft en route from an Australian resort to Sydney when it listed hard right, hit water and sank in the Hawkesbury River. Neither Morgan nor any of the five passengers survived.
In a statement from Sydney Seaplanes, managing director Aaron Shaw said Morgan was an extremely experienced pilot with over 10,000 hours of experience, 9,000 of which were seaplane time.
"He was deeply respected and liked by me and all of the team here as a man and as a pilot," Shaw said. "We are devastated by his loss."
Shaw said he had spoken to Morgan's parents in Canada and offered his deepest sympathies.
"We will support them in any way we can," he said.
Morgan's piloting career was profiled in a short 2014 documentary by an Australian filmmaker. In the film, Morgan said his parents lived in Vancouver and that his father's friend who owned a plane in Abbotsford got him hooked on flying.
He also said his first job as a pilot was for a fly-in fishing company in the Chilcotin.
He worked at Sydney Seaplanes from 2011 to 2014 before leaving to fly seaplanes in the Maldives. He returned to work at the Australian company in May 2017.
Friends have been sharing their condolences on a Facebook memorial page set up by one of Morgan's friends in Australia.
Another friend said in a Facebook post that Morgan was a mentor to her son as part of the Big Brothers of Greater Vancouver program when he lived in North Vancouver.
The five other victims of the crash were a family from Britain. They have been identified as Emma Bowden, her fiancé Richard Cousins, 58, his sons William Cousins, 25, and Edward Cousins, 23 and Bowden's 11-year-old daughter Emma.
The family was having a New Year's Eve dinner in Cottage Point north of Sydney. Richard Cousins was the CEO of Compass Group, one of the largest catering companies in the world.
It's not yet clear what caused the plane crash. Morgan flew a tour of the Sydney Harbour earlier that day with no problems.
Sydney Seaplanes has cancelled flights until further notice and promised to put all the resources it can into helping Australian authorities investigate.
With a report from CTV Vancouver's Jon Woodward and with files from The Associated Press.