The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Pilot who died in New Brunswick air ambulance crash identified as plane's owner

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GRAND MANAN, N.B. - The company that operates the New Brunswick air ambulance that crashed Saturday on Grand Manan island has identified the pilot who died as the firm's owner Klaus Sonnenberg.

The veteran pilot with Atlantic Charters airlines was killed when the Piper PA-31 Navajo aircraft went down near the runway of the island's airport as it returned from delivering a patient to a hospital in Saint John at about 5 a.m.

Ambulance New Brunswick said Saturday that paramedic William Mallock, of Grand Manan, also died in the crash.

Another pilot and a nurse who were on board survived the crash.

A spokesman for the Saint John Regional Hospital said the pilot was in stable condition on Sunday evening while the nurse had been released from hospital.

Sonnenberg's firm Atlantic Charters has a contract with Ambulance New Brunswick to bring patients and medical staff from the island to the Saint John Regional Hospital.

His LinkedIn profile says Sonnenberg had over 30 years of experience flying from the Bay of Fundy island to various destinations in Atlantic Canada and eastern North America.

Dennis Greene, the mayor of the village of Grand Manan, said in an interview Saturday that many residents knew Mallock and Sonnenberg and have strong memories of the assistance they provided during medical emergencies.

He described him as, "a great pilot ... who was always there to help during an emergency."

The mayor recalled Sonnenberg moving to the island and starting the air transport business with a single aircraft. He said the pilot gradually built his charter business up into a family business with a number of aircraft.

He said he has two sons who are pilots, one of whom flies for Atlantic Charters.

The Transportation Safety Board says it has sent a team of investigators to Grand Manan to gather information and assess the crash.

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