The Ketchikan community is mourning the loss of Randy Sullivan — the pilot who died after a midair collision with another flightseeing plane over the George Inlet on Monday.

Sullivan was Mountain Air Service's pilot and owner. According to the the company's website, he grew up in Ketchikan and was familiar with flying around Southeast Alaska.

A family friend and first responder to the scene, Jacob Bauer grew up with Sullivan. He spoke with a CBS reporter in Ketchikan and said Sullivan had been a pilot in town for a long time. 

"[He was a] family guy, really really good guy. Flying was his life, so he went out doing something he loved," Bauer said.

Bauer described the moment when he arrived to the crash scene on a jet ski.

"I see a Beaver, a de Havilland Beaver [...] it was upside down I'm looking at the floats upside down and realize this is a buddy's plane. So I jumped into action jumped off the ski we started looking around the plane looking around the wreckage, looking for people."

During a Tuesday afternoon news conference, officials with the National Transportation Safety Board said search operations are ongoing.

A GoFundMe page has been created by a family friend of the Sullivans to help with memorial funds. As of Monday, May 20, $6,660 out of its $25,000 goal has been raised.

Megan Mazurek contributed to this report.

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