A pilot who grew up in Port Washington died Monday night when the medical transport plane he was flying went down in rural Illinois.
William Didier, 58, was the pilot of the plane that crashed in Riverwoods, IL at about 11 p.m., according to the Daily Herald. John Bialek, 80, and wife Ilomae, 75, were also died in the crash.
William, 58, had been flying professionally for Trans North Aviation, which owned the plane, for several years, according to his nephew Dave Didier. Dave, along with his dad Peter Didier and two brothers, co-own real estate in Port.
"He was a good guy to talk to and was fun and enjoyable to be around," Dave said.
Dave said family members are still unsure of the details of the crash, but said he thinks William was transporting John Bialek from West Palm Beach, FL, to Chicago as a patient. Bialek was being treated for a blood infection, according to the Chicago Tribune. The crash took place in a suburb about 30 miles northwest of Chicago.
Dave said William was born in Port Washington, attended and , and moved away to Cedar Grove less than a year ago with his wife. He has two kids and three grandkids.
Dave said William had been doing commercial flights and medical transports across the country for about 20 years, and flying recreationally since high school. He was also a licensed instructor and occasionally gave lessons, Dave said.
"It's the only job I've ever known him to have," Dave said.
Outside of flying, Dave said William liked to spend time with his family and in the garden.
"He was a proud grandfather, and he was married for at least 30 years," Dave said. "And he had a big green thumb. He was very good in the garden. He did a lot of organic growing."
William and his brother Peter, Dave's dad, first got interested in flying after watching their dad Nick Didier's business partner do it, Dave said.
"They just got the bug and were drawn to it," Dave said. "I remember as a kid he would take us flying at night. As a kid, flying at night in a small private plane is a pretty cool thing."