CEO of Bemidji Aviation killed in plane crash in Illinois

11:20 PM, Dec 4, 2012   |    comments
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ST. PAUL, Minn. - A pilot from Bemidji was killed when his plane crashed in northern Illinois Tuesday afternoon.

A family member has identified the pilot as Larry Diffley, 74. He was the CEO of Bemidji Aviation.

Authorities in Will County, Ill., say Diffley was working on contract for an oil pipeline company and was en route to the Joliet airport to pick up a passenger. Diffley was the only person aboard the twin-engine plane when it went down in a farm field near Joliet.

"He was overdue, and nobody had heard from him. And then we got the call about the accident, the plane crash in the field," Will County Sheriff's Department Deputy Chief Ken Kaupas said.

Diffley and a business partner bought Bemidji Aviation Services, Inc. in 1970, according to the company's website. Bemidji Aviation provides passenger and cargo flights as well as other services at the Bemidji airport.

By Matt Sepic, MPR News
MPR News can be heard on 91.1 FM in the Twin Cities or online at

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. )

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