Crash pilot was a character
EXPERIENCED pilot, entrepreneur, aircraft engineer, flying instructor, fitness fanatic, loving father and a "character in aviation" are just some of the words to describe the late Wayne Fisher.
Mr Fisher was killed when the kit-built RV-12 he was testing for a local man smashed to the ground just after take-off about 9am on Sunday.
News of his death quickly spread across the Australian aviation industry and overseas.
A highly skilled pilot and passionate aviation enthusiast, Mr Fisher established Spectrum Aviation in 1989 at Lismore.
Over the past 24 years, Mr Fisher had designed and built four models of his Fisher Ultralight.
He had also been involved in the construction of thousands of ultralight aircraft and drifters, many his own Fisher models.
Northern Rivers Aero Club president Wally Soward said Mr Fisher was an associate of the club who had many friends in the industry.
"Wayne was great, he always fitted in with everyone and was very good at what he did and if you wanted a bit of help you would just ask him and it was done," Mr Soward said.
"People will remember his flying displays at the Evans Head Fly-In; he was so terrific at aerobatics."
Mr Soward said Mr Fisher's death had left a void in the aircraft fraternity that will be hard to replace.
"Wayne will be sorely missed, he was a great man."
Northern Rivers Aero Club chief flying instructor Bill Kiernan said as soon as the crash happened he got a phone call from a pilot who witnessed it.
Mr Kiernan said the RV-12 Mr Fisher was flying was built and maintained to the highest standard.
"Wayne was a pilot of outstanding ability who put a lot into aviation," he said.
"He was not the sort of fella you will see the likes of again."
Two aircraft enthusiasts who knew Mr Fisher well said they were still trying to overcome the shock.
"When I first heard about Wayne I couldn't believe it, he was such a talented pilot," one man said.
"Wayne was so well known and well liked, he will be sorely missed," said the other.
Recreational Aviation Australia investigators are working with police to prepare a report on the crash for the coroner.