Rocky Mountain House airport manager one of 2 dead in plane crash near Thorsby

The manager of the airport in Rocky Mountain House was one of two people killed Saturday when a small plane crashed and burned in a field near Thorsby, Alta., 70 kilometres southwest of Edmonton.

Police received a call at 1:41 p.m that a Harmon Rocket plane crashed into a field near Township Road 504 and Range Road 21, and then caught fire.

Police found two dead people inside the wreckage — the 59-year-old pilot and a 48-year-old woman who was his passenger. Both were from Rocky Mountain House, where the flight had originated, RCMP said in a news release.

In a statement Monday, the Town of Rocky Mountain House identified the pilot as Ken Fowler, who had managed the local airport for the past 22 years.

“[Fowler] was an experienced pilot who was well-respected by the aerobatic, military and amateur flying communities alike,” the statement said.

“The Town of Rocky Mountain house extends its deepest condolences to the families of Mr. Fowler and his passenger.”

The town said its council and administration will support staff who are grieving the loss of their colleague and friend.

The Transportation Safety Board will conduct an investigation into the cause of the crash, police said.

The Harmon Rocket is a sport plane typically built from a kit.

Thorsby RCMP remained on scene Saturday and said no further updates would be provided.

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