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'We need you back': Friends of pilot seriously injured in crash share memories

The pilot in Thursday morning's crash at Greenhill Road and Meadowview Road has been identified as 51-year-old Bob Cross of Eugene.

Posted: May 21, 2021 5:58 PM
Updated: May 21, 2021 9:26 PM

EUGENE, Ore. -- Friends are sharing memories they have of 51-year-old Bob Cross, the pilot who suffered life-threatening injuries when his airplane crashed on Thursday.


Cross was taken to RiverBend Hospital after the crash, which happened near the Eugene Airport.

Ginevra Ralph, director at The Shedd Institute, said Cross is a talented singer and performer.

"He is my go-to singer. He has this amazing voice," Ralph said. "But it's so much more than that. It's everything that comes with that voice."

Ralph said Cross has been with The Shedd Institute for nearly 30 years and has never missed performing at a Christmas show. She said he is known in the community to have talents for many things.

"He's a business man, a golfer, a family man, a church man. You ask him to do a favor for you and he's right there to do it for you," Ralph said.

Ralph said she didn't know much about his hobby of flying but realized it is a big passion of his when she contacted some of his other friends who are also pilots.

The plane that Cross was operating in the crash was a Glasair III. Aviation experts said that it's unique in that it can fly at high speeds.

"I would say because of the speed that that plane is capable of doing, it would take a better than average pilot to be able to fly it well," said I Fly Aviation LLC owner and flight instructor Steve Boulton.

As of now, Ralph and some of Cross' other friends at The Shedd Insitute are hoping for his speedy recovery.

"We love you, Bob," Ralph said. "We need you back. You're supposed to be singing on stage for Christmas."

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