Erissa Yong-Wilson, 66, died after a plane crash at Stave Lake on Monday, July 27. (Facebook)

UPDATE: Woman killed in Mission plane crash identified as popular Pitt Meadows pilot

Erissa Yong-Wilson, 66, died after a plane crash at Stave Lake

The woman killed in a plane crash at Stave Lake on Monday has been identified as a pilot based out of Pitt Meadows.

Erissa Yong-Wilson, 66, who flew out of Pitt Meadows Airport, YPK, was killed and a 21-year-old woman was injured after their plane, a Cessna 140, went down just before 6 p.m. on an abandoned air strip near Stave Lake.

Tom Heise, president of the Aero Club of BC, of which Yong-Wilson was an active member, said club members are still in shock after learning about the death.

“If you didn’t know Erissa you hadn’t been around the airport for very long,” said Heise of the Coquitlam resident.

Yong-Wilson was a member of the Aero Club of BC, that is based out of YPK, for at least a decade, noted Heise.

“She was in and out of the clubhouse all the time,” he said.

Yesterday there was a tragic accident that has taken one of our finest pilots and friends from us.

Erissa Yong-Wilson…

Posted by Abbotsford Flying Club on Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Yong-Wilson ran a flying school at one point, Cobalt Aviation, added Heise.

She also participated in COPA for Kids Day, an event where pilots donate their time to give free flights to children, and many other events put on by the club.

She was very active in Airport Day and was on the organizing committee for at least the past three years.

Yong-Wilson regularly attended meetings at the Aero Club of BC, Heise said, and never hesitated to give her opinion about anything.

“She really marched to her own drum,” he said.

George Aung Thin, president of the Abbotsford Flying Club, where she Yong-Wilson volunteered in activities including the Abbotsford Flying Club First Flights for Kids event, posted online on Tuesday, July 28, that Yong-Wilson was, “a great pilot and an all-around really cool person.”

My Condolences to the family and friends of
Errissa Yon Wilson who died in a plane crash yesterday at Stave Lake

Posted by Amanda Ann Ryland on Tuesday, July 28, 2020

“She was a great mentor and a fantastic example for aspiring female aviators. She cheerfully volunteered and participated in Abbotsford Flying Club First Flights for Kids events and other activities,” wrote Thin.

“Her loss is a great loss to our flying community. I would like to personally extend my condolences, and those of the Abbotsford Flying Club as well, in this time of sadness.”

Friend Laurie Smith was devastated when she learned of Yong-Wilson’s death.

“An aviation enthusiast, Erissa was a very big fan of our Bug Smith,” said Smith.

Devastated by the news that Erissa Yong-Wilson was lost in a plane crash at Stave Lake. An aviation enthusiast, Erissa…

Posted by Laurie Smith on Tuesday, July 28, 2020

“She was proud of their shared lineage as natives of Singapore and nicknamed him Lalath – the Malay word for ‘flying bug.’ I was delighted to include her among my cat-loving friends. Rest peacefully now Erissa,” read Smith’s post.

The 21-year-old was transported to hospital with undetermined injuries, said Mission RCMP Sgt. Chris Robinson.

The cause of the crash is being investigated by the Transportation Safety Board, with assistance from the Mission RCMP.

Where do you think we should land next?

Posted by Erissa Yong-Wilson on Monday, July 27, 2020

The BC Coroners Service is conducting a parallel investigation to determine the details of Yong-Wilson’s death.

No further information will be released by police or the BC Coroners Service, and follow-up inquiries should be directed to the Transportation Safety Board.


 

cflanagan@mapleridgenews.com

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