OTTAWA -- Ottawa’s aviation community is mourning the loss of a talented pilot and mentor. 

Neil Spriggs has been identified by colleagues and those in community who knew him as the pilot killed in Wednesday’s crash near the Carp airport.  

“It’s a tragic loss,” said Andrew Henry who called Spriggs his friend and mentor. “I had lots of questions for him and he always had time for me.”

Henry and Spriggs are the only ones in the Ottawa area with Gyro planes. Spriggs was in a different aircraft on Wednesday. 

“The thing that I witnessed most with him was his preciseness so that of course made me want to be as precise and skilled as him,” Henry said. 

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada is investigating why the plane Spriggs was flying, a Blackshape BS100, went down in a wooded area near the airport.  

The TSB said it didn’t have an update on its investigation on Thursday. 

“He lived life to the fullest,” a colleague said of Spriggs, adding that he loved flying, sailing and horses. 

Spriggs was the CEO at Nanometrics, a Kanata company that designs, builds and installs equipment that measures earthquakes.  

“He was hugely respected in the industry,” the colleague said. “He always cared about people.” 

The colleague said Spriggs had been preparing for retirement.  

Henry said Spriggs had his instructor licence and commercial pilot licence as well.  

“The aviation community is tight and we all of course are hit hard by his loss but I know also that foremost though it’s about the family, so my heart goes out to them,” said Henry.