A Boissevain farmer killed in a plane crash Wednesday was remembered as someone who "loved to fly" and fought successfully for airport changes to improve safety for the flying community.
Art Peters, 62, was alone in his single-engine 1969 Cessna 172K when it crashed in a farmer's field about five kilometres northwest of Boissevain. The area was blanketed by heavy fog during the crash at 2:11 p.m.
Ten firefighters rushed to the scene, some using snowmobiles and walking through thigh-high drifts to reach the isolated crash site.
Peters was a local farmer in Boissevain and his neighbours remembered him as a hard-working man.
He operated West-Gro Seeds Service Ltd., selling seed to other farmers in the area. In his spare time, he liked horseback riding and skiing in Alberta with his family.
"He was a farmer," said a neighbour. "But he loved to fly."
Peters was married and leaves behind three adult sons, two of whom live in Boissevain and one who lives in Alberta.
Longtime friend and business partner, Wes Froese, described Peters as a good man who cared for his community.
"I really respected him and I'm very sorry to see him gone," Froese said. "He was a good guy, honest and energetic, enthusiastic and community-minded."
In January 2008, Peters spearheaded a petition calling for upgrades to the Brandon airport, particularly an instrument landing system.
Installation of a $1.6-million ILS system, which supplies precision guidance for aircraft approaching the runway, was completed earlier this year.
A fellow Boissevain pilot Wednesday night fondly remembered flying alongside Peters, chatting over their radio systems about the community and the weather while they flew.
"I'd be flying and he'd be flying," he said. "And we'd talk."
"He was a big farmer around Boissevain," he said. "He farmed a lot of acres because that was his passion."
Wednesday night, police and the Transportation Safety Board remained at the scene of the crash.
Boissevain RCMP Sgt. Rob Vachon said an early investigation indicates Peters' plane was leaving Boissevain when it crashed.
It was foggy in the area during the morning, Vachon said, and about 90 minutes after the crash, conditions were also foggy and windy with snow beginning to fall.
However, Vachon didn't have specifics of weather conditions at the time of the crash.
Boissevain is a town of about 1,500 people near the U.S. border south of Brandon.
-- with files from the Brandon Sun