Family pay tribute to pilot

The family and fiancee of a young Rotorua man killed in a plane crash on Saturday said the young pilot was a quiet and careful man who was obsessed with aviation.

Samuel Kershaw, 26, died on Saturday after the top-dressing plane he was flying crashed at Waikite Valley, south

of Rotorua, about 1.20pm.

The cause of the crash is under investigation.

Mr Kershaw worked for Ballance Agri-Nutrients offshoot Super Air, a regional aerial fertiliser spraying company. He

was working on the Waikite Valley farm when the aircraft crashed.

Mr Kershaw's family and fiancee April said today in a statement: "Sam, a dedicated and careful pilot, was passionate about aviation and worked hard for many years to fulfil his number one ambition in life . . . becoming an Ag pilot.''

Mr Kershaw left behind his parents, brothers and fiancee with whom he enjoyed an active and adventurous lifestyle, particularly mountain bike and motorcycle riding.

"He will be remembered for his love of the outdoors, particularly flying and his quiet careful nature. A tragic loss, Sam's untimely death is sensed by many.''

The family and April said they described Mr Kershaw as quiet, obsessed with aviation, pedantic, careful and enthusiastic about flying.

"But he still had a life outside of aviation riding motorbikes and mountain bikes. He just always had to be on an

adventure and just loved being with April and J his dog. He dreamed of being an ag pilot and lived his dream. He made it and died doing what he loved.''

When asked how the family reacted to news of his death they said:  "Devastation, loss, disbelief, so unexpected

because he was such a careful pilot and person.''

They said Mr Kershaw would be remembered as someone with a passion, who loved living life and his fiance.

"He had a goal and lived the dream.''

Mr Kershaw's other passions included music, being a self-taught guitar player and drummer and his ambitions for the future were to be a husband, travel and get a boat.

"Just believed in living 100 per cent _ Don't put off what you can do today,'' the statement said.


- Rotorua Daily Post

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