Friends and family of co-pilot raise almost $8,500

Matt Robic fundraiser money will be given to Vancouver General's burn unit

Matt Robic died after the plane he was co-piloting crashed in Richmond recently.

Matt Robic died after the plane he was co-piloting crashed in Richmond recently.

Family and friends of Matt Robic, who died recently in Vancouver General Hospital, have raised $8,469.97 in a Dec. 3 burger and brew fundraiser.

The proceeds will be donated to the hospital’s burn unit, which treated Robic for burns to 80 per cent of his body following an Oct. 27 plane crash in Richmond.

Robic, 26, the co-pilot during the flight, died three weeks after that crash, which also claimed the life of 44-year-old North Vancouver pilot Luc Fortin.

Originally, the fundraiser was intended to go towards his rehabilitation, but after he died the family decided to donate the money on his behalf to the unit, which will commemorate Robic with a plaque.

“On behalf of the friends and family of Matt Robic, thank you to all who helped to make this fundraiser a big success,” said Joanne Redfearn, the mother of Robic’s partner.

A special thanks goes to donating businesses and the owners and staff of the 14th Avenue Pub where the fundraiser took place, she added.

Robic had moved to Burnaby recently with his partner of four years, Natalie, to fly with Northern Thunderbird Air, based out of Prince George.

Redfearn said Robic had been a pilot for about five and a half years, previously working as a flight instructor in such places as Windsor, Ont. and Fiji in the South Pacific, before landing a job closer to home.

Redfearn said the fundraiser gave family and friends a chance to gather and find “something good that came out of this.”