The 74-year-old president of Bemidji Aviation Services Inc. died after his twin-engine Beech Baron crashed near Manhattan, Ill., on Tuesday afternoon, the Bemidji Pioneer reported.
Larry Diffley was flying alone on a trip to inspect an oil pipeline near Chicago when the aircraft went down, the Pioneer reported. It crashed in a soybean field, the Chicago Sun-Times reported. The National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration are investigating.
Diffley will be remembered as a superb pilot and a fair, generous and conscientious person, his business partner told the newspaper.
Diffley had been with the company since 1970, although Bemidji Aviation was launched in 1947. The company says it provides fuel, maintenance, hanger rental, plane rental, flight training, car rental, pilot supplies and a pilot lounge.