Friends, colleagues remember Gallatin pilot, doctor killed in plane crash
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) - Friends and colleagues of 62-year-old Dr. Christopher Wiltcher are mourning his loss after a plane crash on Tuesday morning.
Wiltcher’s family confirmed to WSMV4 Wednesday that he was the victim in Tuesday’s crash.
Wiltcher was a traveling physician and recently worked at Cookeville Regional Medical Center for about eight months. His coworkers there said they are devastated by his death.
“Everybody was shocked,” Erin Hedgecoth said.
“That is so sad for any family to lose someone,” Emily Vaughn added.
Wiltcher’s family said he was an OB/GYN with more than 30 years of experience.
He recently worked with Hedgecoth and Vaughn at Cookeville Regional.
“He was funny,” Vaughn said. “From the very first time I met him, he told me I would recognize him when I met him in the lobby, because he looked like Elmer Fudd.”
Wiltcher’s family said he lived in Gallatin. They said he flew for leisure and had been doing so since he was a teenager.
“He always talked about his love of flying his plane, so it was just a very surprising way to know that is how he lost his life,” Hedgecoth said.
Tuesday, NTSB said Wiltcher crashed in Brentwood while on his way to get his plane serviced. The NTSB said Wiltcher was traveling from Springfield to Smyrna to upgrade his instrument panel.
In an audio recording, Wiltcher said he was having engine problems and asked the air traffic controller to tell his family he loved them.
“I know he was very close with them,” Vaughn said. “He talked about them a lot.”
At the family’s request, WSMV4 shared the audio recording with them, but we chose not to air it.
Wiltcher’s coworkers said their thoughts are with his family.
“Thank you for the time we got to spend with him,” Hedgecoth said. “It is because of them he was the person that we got to have and come serve our community.”
NTSB said it is too early in the investigation to determine the cause of the crash, and a preliminary report may be available in about two weeks.
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