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Family identifies pilot killed in crash near West Jordan airport

Aug 24, 2023, 11:04 AM | Updated: 9:19 pm

WEST JORDAN, Utah — Family members have identified the pilot who was killed in a small plane crash near the South Valley Regional Airport.

In a Facebook post, Harmonie Wheeler said her brother, Creighton King, was flying the Hensler Cassutt plane that crashed on Copper Hills Parkway between Airport Road and 7800 South around noon Wednesday.

King was the plane’s only occupant and was pronounced dead at the scene. The Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board are investigating the crash.

Family and friends are remembering 50-year-old Creighton King of West Valley City as a devoted family man who had a passion for flying.

King leaves behind a wife and two teenage daughters.

“Creighton’s family was everything, his girls, his wife,” said friend and business partner Mike Patey.

Patey said King lived life to the fullest. He recalled King’s big heart, smile and personality that kept everyone laughing.

“That guy lived—he absolutely lived,” he said. “He went out doing what he wanted to do, which was build and fly and race really cool airplanes.”

King was an experienced, well-known pilot who will be greatly missed in the aviation community.

“We already miss him,” said friend and fellow pilot Cory Robin. “He was just always contributing. If there’s a reason to live on this earth, he sure lived it. He sure gave.”

Robin said King was an authentic friend to everyone and was always helping people out.

“Just a real loss for humanity,” Robin said.

King called his red-and-blue racing plane the “Last Lap Player” in social media posts referencing an upcoming plane race in Nevada, in which another pilot was going to participate.

“I saw the plane go up, it was colorful and it caught my attention. I saw it do something weird,” said Casesar Rocha, who witnessed the crash. “It kind of banked in a very weird way and then plummeted, straight down.”

Jeremy Lowe saw the crash after it happened and said he responded immediately to the needs of the pilot.

“For me, it was, military training kicked back in and I knew what I had to do to try and help save his life,” Lowe said. “It was just debris all over the road and a gentleman that was laying there in the middle of the road like he had been ejected.”

Wheeler said the family is devastated to lose King, who was a “very experienced pilot, and “LOVES flying.”

Pilot Walks Away From Hard Landing Along Utah Lake Shoreline

A GoFundMe* account has been set up to help the family with memorial expenses and other financial burdens.

*KSL TV does not assure that the money deposited to the account will be applied for the benefit of the persons named as beneficiaries. If you are considering a deposit to the account, you should consult your own advisers and otherwise proceed at your own risk.

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Family identifies pilot killed in crash near West Jordan airport