Grand Manan gathers for final goodbye to pilot Klaus Sonnenberg
Many businesses on N.B. island close for pilot's funeral service at community school
Family and friends gathered Saturday to remember Klaus Sonnenberg, the pilot who died when his small charter crashed last weekend on Grand Manan Island, killing a paramedic and injuring two others.
Hundreds of people turned out for the funeral service at the Grand Manan Community School. Many businesses closed for the afternoon.
Sonnenberg was well known on the island. He was president of Atlantic Charters, the company that provided air ambulance service and shuttled patients to Saint John Hospital.
Lynne Blanchard knew Sonnenberg well. He married her cousin.
"He was just a super guy," said Blanchard, who lives in Boston.
"My dad had a stroke on Grand Manan about 10 years ago and it was Klaus who flew him to a hospital in Boston.
"He's just a wonderful husband, father, family man … and thefamily is just devastated."
CBC reporter Shane Fowler said several people described Sonnenberg as "legendary."
Sonnenberg died last Saturday when his plane crashed near the small airport in Grand Manan after returning from Saint John to drop off a patient. Paramedic William Mallock was also killed.
First responders from across Canada joined hundreds of other mourners Wednesday for Mallock's funeral.
Members of the paramedic honour guard lined the route of the funeral procession to Grand Manan Community School — the only building large enough to accommodate the large group.
The plane has been removed from the site and taken to Nova Scotia, while the components have been sent to Ottawa.
Family and friends of Mallock and Sonnenberg were permitted to visit the crash site earlier in the week for some closure.
Someone left a small cross made from wood and parts of the plane's fuselage at the site.
The Transportation Safety Board is investigating.