Victim of Mission plane crash a longtime Delta hospice volunteer

Patrick Lobsinger, Don Hubble members of the Boundary Bay Flying Club

Delta Hospice Society volunteer Patrick Lobsinger with councillor Marg Fletcher. Lobsinger was killed in a plane crash over Mission earlier this week.

Delta Hospice Society volunteer Patrick Lobsinger with councillor Marg Fletcher. Lobsinger was killed in a plane crash over Mission earlier this week.



Above is a video clip taken in Feb. 2009 of Patrick Lobsinger at the Delta Heritage Air Park. He was helping organize a fly past in honour of the 100th anniversary of the flight of the Silver Dart, the first powered flight in Canada.

One of the two men who died when two planes collided just east of Mission earlier this week was a longtime Delta Hospice Society volunteer and former pilot involved with the Boundary Bay Flying Club.

Patrick Lobsinger, 70, from Surrey was the passenger in the Cessna 150 that crashed into Nicomen Slough Wednesday (Feb. 9). Donn Hubble, 60, from Langley was the pilot. The pilot of the second plane that made an emergency landing in a field was Paul Knapp from Pitt Meadows.

Lobsinger died at the scene and Hubble, also a member of the Boundary Bay Flying Club, passed away after being taken to Royal Columbian Hospital.

In a press release Delta Hospice Society executive director Nancy Macey said Lobsinger died doing what he loved—flying.

“This tragic news hit many of us very hard at Delta Hospice who have known and worked with Pat for almost 20 years,” said Macey. “Pat had devoted his life to serving people and was one of our greatest advocates.”

Macey added Lobsinger “did not waste a moment of life on himself.”

“He loved people and he lived his life fully every day, while living with his own health issues which he just pushed aside.”

Lobsinger met his wife Deanna while at the hospice society’s inaugural training session in 1992.

Macey said the society’s heartfelt sympathy goes out to Deanna, also a longtime volunteer.

“We are indebted to Pat for the long history and quality of the service he provided families in our community and beyond,” she said.

The society’s communications coordinator Dalyce Wickett passed on a past interview with Lobsinger she had conducted for the hospice.

When she asked him what led him to volunteer at the Delta Hospice, he said he learned of hospice after surviving a massive coronary in 1982 at the age of 42. He was told he had six months to live, but promised himself he would give back to the community if he survived.

“Within the year I was visiting the sick and dying in Ladner at Delta Hospital,” Lobsinger said. “Payback time was at hand. Without formal training, however, it was really rough going. I suffered with the dying and their families. I did what I could, but I was never confident that it was the right stuff, or enough of it.”

When he learned of the Delta Hospice Society’s new training program, he was the first to sign up.

“Did that ever make a difference! This was where I learned the meaning of the words palliative care and hospice,” he told Wickett.

On his role as a hospice volunteer, Lobsinger said he was there to provide the gift of time.

“We do what might be expected of a good friend . . . Hospice volunteers are trained to actively listen with empathy, to show no pain or discomfort when the conversation turns to death and dying. They accompany their clients on a journey.”

Both Lobsinger and Hubble also helped organize a fly past from Delta Heritage Air Park in February 2009 in honour of the 100th anniversary of the flight of the Silver Dart, the first powered flight in Canada.

They joined eight other pilots in their Cessnas, Pipers and homebuilt aircraft to recognize Canada’s contribution to aviation history. Hubble was the lead pilot in the fly past.

The two also took part in a longstanding annual tradition of organizing a formation flight over 10 different cenotaphs in the Lower Mainland for Remembrance Day.

On Thursday afternoon, Transportation Safety Board investigator Damien Lawson said the lead plane that crashed into the slough was rear ended by the plane that made an emergency landing in a farmer’s field.

Langley Airport manager George Miller said the small formation team flies out of the Langley airfield on a regular basis, and the crash occurred where they are known to practise regularly.

—with files from Jason Roessle

For updates on this story as more is learned about the crash visit The Mission City Record.