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His heart & soul were in the clouds,' son says of pilot killed in Whidbey Island crash

“His heart & soul were in the clouds,' son says of pilot killed in Whidbey Island crash

SNOHOMISH COUNTY, Wash. – The son of a pilot killed in a crash on Whidbey Island last weekend shared his father’s story only on KOMO News Friday.

Marc Drake, 63, died Saturday after crashing the RV-8a airplane he built. He and girlfriend had taken off from Paine Field. They tried to land on Whidbey Island, but something went wrong.

Marc died on impact. His girlfriend was airlifted to Harborview where she’s improving.

“His heart and soul were in the clouds,” Tyler Drake told KOMO. “If it was blue skies, then he was up in the airplane, period.”

Marc kept his plane at that airport. He also brought Tyler to the Flying Heritage & Combat Armor Museum at Paine Field when he was a kid.

“A place that me and my dad will always have together,” Tyler said. “Aviation was just what we did. It was just our thing.”

As he grieves, Tyler finds comfort in the place and passion his father loved most. He says his dad wouldn’t want his story to steer people away from flying.

“It’s what he loved to do,” Tyler said. “If there was any way he could choose to go, if you get to choose, it would have been flying his airplane. No question about it.”

Tyler plans to scatter half of his father’s ashes at Paine Field, where he can always hear the planes flying in and out.

Tyler hopes to get his pilot’s license someday soon. He wants it now more than ever.

“To go fly with my dad,” he said. He believes his father is still soaring and watching over their family.

“Without a doubt,” Tyler said. “Him and grandpa. They’re up there flying around.”

The crash is still under investigation. KOMO News reached out to the FAA and NTSB, but because of the government shutdown, neither could provide an update.

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