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PFS mourns loss of colleagues

Repeka Nasiko
Friday, March 02, 2018

AN instructor for Pacific Flying School (PFS) in Nadi has expressed his heartbreak over the death of his colleague and friend, Iliesa Tawalo.

Apenisa Golea hardly slept this week knowing his friend was missing along with their trainee pilot Merelesita Lutu, 21, who perished when their Cessna 172 aircraft crashed into mountainous terrains in Delaikoro, Vanua Levu.

But on Wednesday, when news of their death broke and sent the whole nation into mourning, Mr Golea said Iliesa's death was a great loss to the school.

"We lost a great friend and aviator," he said. "We are all feeling this loss. He was such a gentleman of aviation.

"He was a friend who I looked up to. When I was feeling down, he would usually be the one that brought my spirits back up."

He said when the pair went missing on Monday, the staff members and students of PFS held on to the hope that the duo would be found safe and alive.

"When we heard of their passing, most of us were heartbroken. I've only slept for two hours since hearing the news."

Mr Golea described his friend of 13 years as a very religious man.

"Whenever I would enter the office, he would be sitting right at the corner reading the Bible. I've known Iliesa since 2005 as a classmate and then we've worked together as a ground instructor at PFS.

"He became a flight instructor last year. For the PFS family, we lost a great friend, teacher and aviator."

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