Today I received some very sad and shocking news. Paul Valois (N1ELL, for those of you who are also ham radio operators), a good friend of mine and the person who has been supplying our KBTV Burlington, VT and Boston Center (MPV Sector) feeds, as well as the Montreal feeds, was killed in a tragic plane crash in Texas on Wednesday. There is more information below - I discovered this purely by accident today while visiting another web site.
Paul was known on the LiveATC Forums as "T210 Driver" and was one of the best radio techs around, as well as a successful businessman in Vermont (contactbeep.com). He was also an avid pilot, flying his Cessna 210 back and forth to Texas often. He loved both flying and radio, and that is how we both originally met.
Paul was also one of the most giving persons I have ever known.
I will miss him, and I am sure others in the community here will feel the same.
RIP Paul - you left us too soon. And condolences to Paul's family.
I am sure that many amateurs from Northern Vermont knew Paul, N1ELL. I am sad to report that my old friend was tragically killed Wednesday September 23rd while landing his Cessna 210 at a small airport at Hilltop Lakes, Texas.
I first met Paul when he was living in Montreal in the mid 1970s when he was working at Motorola. I forget the WA1 callsign he used at the time. Paul was an excellent technician and helped me assemble a Motorola HT220 from parts I had scrounged up at the Rochester NY hamfest we both attended one year. It's ironic that he died at the very time I am involved in working on the Motorola portables we are using for the Deerfield Fair radio project.
Originally from Rhode Island, Paul relocated to Montreal to immerse himself in his native French Canadian culture and perfect his French. He spoke both English (with a heavy RI accent) and French fluently. Paul married Sylvie and in the 1980s they moved to the Burlington VT area where he started a successful paging business. They had two daughters.
Paul built and operated two repeaters; one on Covey Hill in Hemmingford Quebec on 146.685 MHz and the other on top of Mount Mansfield in Northern Vermont on 145.470 MHz which bears his callsign. In the early 1980s Paul asked me to be the trustee of the Covey Hill repeater because he didn't hold a Canadian amateur radio license. I was able to obtain the callsign VE2REX. We called it the "King of repeaters" and sure had a lot of fun on that repeater in those days. After I relocated to the USA in 1990 Paul and I handed over the license and trusteeship to a local club that had just been formed.
In addition to amateur radio, Paul loved flying his Cessna 210. I last saw Paul at the Northern Vermont Hamfest at Colchester last February and invited him to Deerfield. He said he could not make it in May because he was already booked for Dayton but would love to come to NEAR-Fest in October. It saddens me now to know that he will never make it.
More details and news reports on the tragic crash that claimed Paul's life may be found here:http://www.kbtx.com/local/headlines/60861067.html http://www.kbtx.com/local/headlines/61356072.html
A minute of silence will be observed at NEAR-Fest VI just prior to the ceremonial Opening of the Gate in honor and memory of Paul N1ELL and the other amateur radio operators who have joined the ranks of silent keys since we last convened the NEAR-Fest last May.