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Twin-prop Crash Near Chicago, 1 Dead

Thu Dec 06, 2012 3:20 am

UPDATED: Bemidji man killed while piloting plane in Illinois

Pioneer staff reports
Bemidji Pioneer
Tuesday, December 4, 2012 - 10:49pm

BEMIDJI – The president of Bemidji Aviation Services Inc. who died after his plane crashed Tuesday, will be remembered as a “superb pilot” who was a fair, generous and conscientious person, his business partner said.

Larry Diffley, 74, was flying solo in a twin-engine Beech Baron, inspecting an oil pipeline near Chicago, when the aircraft crashed about 2:45 p.m., said Mark Shough, the vice president of Bemidji Aviation who bought the company with Diffley in 1970.

This one is kind of close to home. The pilot, Larry Diffley, was my girlfriend's second cousin. He was flying as part of a contract that involved the inspection of a new oil pipeline being constructed in the Chicago area. We don't know many details yet but he was the only person on board the Beech Baron and he crashed into a field near Manhattan Township, IL, about 50 miles SW of Chicago.

Diffley was the CEO of Bemidji Aviation Services in northern Minnesota. Bemidji Aviation is big in scheduled freight contracts into rural Minnesota for some of the larger freight haulers as well as running the local FBO and a decent-sized charter operation in BJI (Bemidji, MN).

I'm just getting word of this. If anyone has any information to add I'm very appreciative.
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