A pilot who was killed when his airplane went down in a weekend crash southwest of Ottawa has been identified as a 43-year-old man from Carp.

Andrew Phillips was taking a 200-kilometre trip from Lindsay, Ont. to Smiths Falls when his aircraft went down in a heavily forested area near Madoc on Saturday. He was taking the trip with two other civilian airplanes at the time of the crash.

“He was a really fun type of guy. He was always joking in particularly with me,” said fellow pilot Phillip Johnson, who knew Phillips through the aviation community.

Phillips leaves behind a wife and two children, who he took up in his plane to share the flying experience.

Plane in good condition

His airplane was a two-seater aircraft that Phillips assembled himself from a kit provided by an Oregan-based company.

“A lot of it was fabricated at the factory,” Johnson said. “It was a very sound airplane. All the bits he put in it were very sound, the engine was new.”

Johnson said the plane was inspected on a regular basis and last underwent inspection as recently as this summer. He had been flying the aircraft for about one year, and it was in good condition.

“All the right protocols had been observed,” said Johnson, who described Phillips as a sharp pilot who took to the skies regularly.

Aviation community reeling

Phillips learned to fly at the Carp flying academy about five years ago. Although he lived in the Carp area, his plane was based in Smiths Falls.

“Everybody knows him in the community and is absolutely devastated. A lot of tears were flying this weekend, I tell you. Both the pilots and the pilots’ wives as well,” said Johnson.

Phillips was joined on his final flight by two other pilots who were flying back to Carp in their own aircrafts. They are now hurting from the loss of a close friend.

Search teams found Phillips’ body Saturday night amid the wreckage near Bannockburn, a small community north of Madoc.

At the time of the crash, the weather conditions were perfect.

“It was a beautiful clear sky -- blue, blue sky day. There was no wind, no nothing. That’s the thing that’s really confusing. The condition was perfect,” said Johnson.

An investigation into the cause of the crash is still underway and is expected to take several weeks.