Pilot William Hillick who was killed in Longford crash on March 20, 2016
The experienced pilot who died in an air crash in Co Longford has been named locally as William Hillick, who ran a popular tech shop on Dublin’s quays.
Mr. Hillick, who was in his 40s, died after the single-seater plane came down at Abbeyshrule Aerodrome at around 6pm yesterday.
Locals in the area said a number of planes had been performing acrobatic stunts before the incident. The scene was closed off as air crash investigators tried to establish what happened.
Mr. Hillick was well known in the midlands and Dublin. He lived in the Mullingar area and was the owner of the family-run CQ Communications shop on Ormond Quay, which sells tech and camera equipment.
He was also an avid aviator and martial arts instructor, and is known to have bought a new plane in recent weeks. It is believed that it was this model that crashed yesterday.
The Air Accident Investigation Unit launched an investigation into the incident and was due to examine the scene and the remains of the aircraft.
Today, one of William’s neighbor on Ormond Quay – Panem cafe owner Raffaele Cauallo – said he was shocked to hear the news.
“This is very, very sad. We’ve been friends and neighbors for 20 years. He even took me flying with him once around 18 months ago,” he said.
“He was always safe and calm in a plane. Very calm and very talented. He was a good teacher and very smooth at landing.
“He has helped me so many times here in the cafe, too. If I ever had an electrical problem he would be in sorting it out. He was very good that way.”
On Mr. Hillick’s own Facebook page it features photographs of his beloved aircraft.
Under the “favorite quote” section he had posted “live every day like it is your last – because someday you will be right”. He had only updated his profile picture on the site last Friday, two days before the crash.
A friend today posted an RIP message on the site attached to one of the photos that William had uploaded last week.
Longford Fianna Fail Councillor Mick Cahill described the incident as a terrible tragedy.
“I live a half-mile away and they had been up in the air all day,” he said. “There was nothing unusual all day, but one of them came down at about six o’clock and went into the ground. It is a terrible tragedy.”
Original article can be found here: http://www.independent.ie