A young Calgary pilot killed in a crash in Antarctica late last month was remembered Friday by friends and family as someone who always knew he wanted to fly.
Mike Denton, 25, was one of three men presumed dead after the Twin Otter plane he was co-piloting went missing in Antarctica. The wreckage was later discovered; however, authorities say they bodies of the three men likely won’t be recovered until October.
In an obituary, family members described Denton as compassionate, honest and a loving husband to the woman he had married last fall.
“Mike grew up knowing he wanted to be a pilot and pursued his dream career. Through his work as a pilot he had the opportunity to combine his love of aviation and travel,” reads the obituary. “As much as Mike loved airplanes he was always adamant that he loved Carlyn, his wife, even more.”
Friends took to a web forum to express their condolences and share their memories of Denton.
“I had the pleasure or working with Mike as he was completing his flight training. He always worked hard at both his job and his training. I could tell from early on that Mike was destined for great things in life,” reads one post on the Kenn Borek Air website — the company Denton and the three men worked for.
Another post on a website dedicated to tributes towards Denton describes him as being “excellent at what he did.”
“I had the good fortune of chatting with Mike over breakfast and flying with him as a passenger this past summer in the Canadian High Arctic,” reads the post. “It was clear through his professionalism, character, and most importantly the twinkle in his eye, that he was doing what he loved. When asked how he decided to become a pilot, he replied, ‘I’ve always known I wanted to be a pilot. But not just a pilot, a Twin Otter pilot.’”
A private memorial for Denton is scheduled for Friday at Christ Church Elbow Park at 2 p.m.