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Bemidji Aviation president killed in plane crash

Published On: Dec 05 2012 07:24:39 AM CST   Updated On: Dec 05 2012 07:24:00 AM CST
BEMIDJI, Minn. (AP) -

A longtime business partner says the pilot killed in a plane crash in Illinois was the president of Bemidji Aviation Services in Minnesota.

Mark Shough says 74-year-old Larry Diffley was flying solo in a twin-engine Beech Baron and was inspecting an oil pipeline near Chicago when the plane went down shortly before 3 p.m. Tuesday.

Shough says Diffley was in radio contact during the flight with the oil company that contracted with him to inspect the pipeline. Shough is vice president of Bemidji Aviation.

Shough tells the Bemidji Pioneer he and Diffley bought the aviation company in 1970 after the two met in the National Guard. Shough remembers Diffley as a "superb pilot" who was fair, generous and conscientious.

Bemidji Aviation employees issued a statement expressing sympathy to the Diffley family.