2 dead after Canadian survey aircraft crashes high in the Andes in Colombia
Monday, May 05, 2014 04:45 pm
REGINA - One of two Canadians identified as the victims of a plane crash in northeastern Colombia was described Monday as a smart guy with a passion for the outdoors.
The civil aviation authority in Columbia says the registry of a plane that crashed high in the Andes on Saturday matches one belonging to Regina-based Oracle Geoscience International, which does aerial surveys for mining companies. Two people aboard, both Canadians, were killed.
The authority identified the dead as Peter Moore, a co-founder of the company, and Neville Ribeiro, who was registered as the plane's pilot.
Jack Richardson, who says he knew Moore for about 25 years, was shocked to hear about the crash.
"His geophysics, doing the flying, analyzing the anomalies — he knew that stuff very well. We talked about it a lot," Richardson said in a phone interview from Blind River, Ont.
"Peter is a good guy. He is very focused on his work, very focused on enjoying life."
Richardson says Moore ran an outfitting service for many years on the Great Lakes. Moore used to take charters out salmon fishing and worked very hard at it, said Richardson.
"He loved fishing. He was an excellent fisherman," said Richardson.
"And he built his own place on Lake Huron. You know he's that kind of guy — very resourceful, very independent."
According to Oracle Geoscience's website, Moore graduated from the Haileybury School of Mines in Haileybury, Ont. The site says Moore started his survey career as an airborne operator for Dighem Surveys in 1987 and that he worked in more than 15 countries over the last 20 years.
"Most of his work was (in) northern Canada. He did all the diamond mine exploration when that was hot," said Richardson, who last spoke with his friend at the end of January when Moore arrived in South America.
"He'd go wherever the work took him."
Rescue workers struggled over the weekend to reach the twin-engine Piper PA-31 Navajo because of poor visibility at the remote site.
Col. Carlos Silva, director of the Colombian air force command and control centre, said the plane was seen from the air upside down on the ground.
It was not clear what led to the accident.
— With files from The Associated Press
Note to readers: This is a corrected story. An earlier version misidentified Neville Ribeiro.