WIGGINS, Colo. (CBS4) – A small town is mourning the loss of a dedicated worker and friend who died in a plane crash.

Rick Tackabury, 65, was the pilot of the plane that crashed Monday in Fort Morgan right next to the airport. Investigators say Tackabury built the plane himself.

The passenger in the plane, Laura Tackabury, 42, was Rick Tackabury’s daughter. She’s been upgraded to fair condition at the North Colorado Medical Center.

“Oh, he was quite the pilot, that was his love and his passion,” friend Wayne Jones said.

That’s evident by looking at the pictures on the walls in Rick Tackabury’s office at the Wiggins School District’s bus lot where he worked as the transportation director.

“He just loved flying,” Jones said. “He passed away doing what he loved to do.”

Friends were shocked and disheartened to hear that his experimental twin engine plane crashed.

“Everybody pretty well knows everybody in a lot of ways and it just affects everybody,” Jones said.

Rick Tackabury died on the scene. His daughter was flown to the hospital with serious injuries.

Jones worked for rick Tackabury as a fill-in bus driver.

“You couldn’t find a better boss than Rick Tackabury,” he said.

Rick Tackabury is being remembered by his coworkers at the district where he worked since 2006.

“In a small community it’s devastation, disbelief; I don’t know how else to describe it,” Wiggins School District Superintendent Steve Neel said. “He was a good person to work with. He was a good friend.”

The National Transportation Safety Board is still investigating the crash.


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