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Alberta pilot dies in crash after dropping off singer George Canyon

Dec. 16, 2013, Lloydminster, Alta. - An Alberta man who died in a plane crash shortly after dropping off Canadian country singer George Canyon was remembered Sunday by family and friends as someone who had a passion for his work and for flying.


December 16, 2013
By CTV News

Bill Lovse, 61, was piloting a small Cessna 210 which crashed shortly
after taking off from the Lloydminster airport for High River on
Saturday. RCMP said the plane first hit the ground, and then slid into a
home. The homeowner was not hurt.

 

“Only got three sons and one’s gone,” Lovse’s father, John, told CTV Calgary on Sunday.

 

Lovse was married for 32 years and had two daughters in their 20s.

 

“He really worked hard for them,” Lovse’s stepmother, Dianne, said
shortly after she and her husband flipped through family pictures from a
Europe trip five years ago.

 

Lovse received his pilots’ licence about ten years ago, and friends in
the aviation community say he was an experienced pilot who loved being
in the air.

 

“That was his freedom, that he was up there and he was like an eagle …
that he could soar up there and have fun,” Dennis Unguran, a friend of
Lovse’s, said.

 

Another friend, Steff Stephansson, described Lovse as a “very cautious and well trained pilot.”

Lovse was also described by those who knew him as a man who loved his
work, starting out as a civil engineer then going back to school to
become a land surveyor. He then started his own company.

 

“The thing I liked about Bill is I'd be a little down and he was always
positive,” Pat Hertz, Lovse’s brother in law, said. “He gave you
encouragement and said ‘just do it.’”

 

As family and friends remembered Lovse Sunday, investigators arrived at
the crash site just outside Lloydminster to try to determine what led
to the crash.

 

“We have lots of information to gather on the technical aspect of the
aircraft, its maintenance history also the pilots history,” said John
Lee, a spokesperson with the Transportation Safety Board.

 

Lovse had flown Canadian country music star George Canyon to
Lloydminster earlier on Saturday. Canyon said in a statement on Sunday
that he was a friend of Lovse’s, and that he was devastated to learn
about the tragedy.

 

Canyon's publicist, Anya Wilson, says the singer was dropped off with
his tour manager in Lloydminster for a performance of “The Huron Carole”
in the city that evening.

Wilson says Canyon learned of the tragedy at about dinner time, not long before the show.

 

"I have just lost a dear friend who was not just an aviation buddy, we
shared an interest in sports and often played hockey together," Canyon, a
resident of High River, said in the statement. “He and I have flown
many times all over the place. I am devastated with the news and my
prayers and thoughts are all with his family and friends."

 

RCMP said weather conditions at the time of the crash were poor. But
Lee of the TSB cautioned that different conditions could affect pilots
and planes in different ways, and might not necessarily contribute to a
crash.

 

Lee did note, however, that there was light and drifting snow at the
time and visibility was about a kilometre and a half, with a cloud
ceiling of 600 metres. Winds were 25 to 35 kilometres per hour and the
temperature was -19 C, he said.

 

Police and an official with the TSB say the aircraft belonged to J.W.L. Engineering.