British Columbia

B.C. pilot killed in Honduras crash was 'very experienced,' dad says

The father of a 32-year-old B.C. pilot killed in a plane crash in Honduras on Saturday says he had spoken with his son Patrick earlier that morning and the family is still trying to piece together the tragedy.

'We are taking it very badly. He was way too young,' said Larry Forseth about son Patrick

Patrick Forseth, 32, was a 'very experienced' pilot who was well known in B.C.'s aviation community, according to his family. Forseth and four other people were killed when the plane he was piloting crashed off the coast of Honduras on Saturday. (Submitted by Daniel Miller)

The father of a 32-year-old B.C. pilot killed in a plane crash in Honduras on Saturday says his son was a spontaneous person who was a happy child.

In a phone interview with The Canadian Press from Honduras, Larry Forseth said he had spoken with Patrick Forseth earlier the morning of the crash.

The Piper Cherokee Six plummeted into the Atlantic shortly after takeoff from Roatan en route to Trujillo, a port city on Honduras's northern coast.

Global Affairs Canada confirmed Sunday that a Canadian citizen had died in the crash, but did not identify the person due to privacy concerns.

The U.S. State Department also confirmed the deaths of four American citizens.

'A very capable, very professional pilot'

Larry Forseth said the family is trying to piece together the tragedy.

His son was a "very experienced'' pilot who had trained at the Coastal Pacific Aviation school in Abbotsford, B.C., he said, adding that Patrick had also flown for companies in Canada.

"I've been a commercial pilot all my life and I've spent many hours in the air with him, and he's a very capable, very professional pilot," Larry said.

Firefighters work at the crash site near Roatan, Bay Island, Honduras, on Saturday. All five people on board were killed after the plane plummeted shortly after takeoff from the popular tourist destination of Roatan en route to the port of Trujillo. (Honduras Fire Department/the Associated Press)

"The family is not doing good,'' he added.

"We are taking it very badly. He was way too young … It's a horrible thing to lose your child and he was a very special child. And we are a very close family.''

Patrick, who also went by the name Danny, had a number of friends in the area and was loved by everyone, Larry said.

The father described his son as a "happy child, always smiling'' growing up. He said his son loved to build tree forts and was good with his hands.

The plane crashed into the water just off the shore of Roatan on the way to Trujillo, a port city on the northern coast of Honduras. (CBC)

Larry also described his son as a jokester, saying he was the life of the party.

"So spontaneous ... and he would talk about anything and everything, and have people laughing and having fun,'' he said wistfully. "He was a very social, outgoing person.''

'You should not have to bury your child'

Patrick's remains were cremated Monday, and a few pilots in the area gathered later in the day to pay tribute.

His ashes will be taken to Trujillo for a celebration of life, and after that, family members, who spend a few months in B.C. and a few in Honduras, plan to return to Canada for a similar gathering with relatives and friends.

"It's very difficult. You should not lose a child. They should not pass away before their parents,'' Forseth said, breaking down.

"It's just not right. You should not have to bury your child."

Global Affairs spokesperson Stefano Maron said consular officials in the Honduran capital of Tegucigalpa were in contact with local authorities and providing assistance to the victim's family.

The Honduran military said in a statement that rescue boats with police divers and firemen recovered four bodies within minutes of the crash and transported another to a hospital, where he died shortly after of internal injuries.

With files from the Associated Press