An Irish pilot who tragically died in a motorbike accident in Mexico has been described as a man “who would do anything for anyone”.
Ambrose Blaine, (55), a married father of three from Killala in Co Mayo, died following a collision while he was travelling the Pan American highway with a group of biking friends on Nov 15th.
The remains of Mr Blaine will be flown back to Ireland on Monday) on his favourite aircraft to fly during a long and successful aviation career.
Turkish Airlines, with whom Mr Blaine worked as a pilot for several years and more recently as a consultant, confirmed that he will arrive in Dublin airport on one of their Airbus 330 aircraft at 9.30 a.m Monday morning (Nov 22nd).
Mr Blaine’s close friend, John O’Kelly, who was with him when the tragic accident happened, said he is devastated at the loss of his good friend, who touched the lives of so many during his too short life.
He said that it is fitting Ambrose’s final flight will be on the aircraft he loved to fly.
“Ambrose loved his career and was very well known and respected in the aviation industry. It took some organising, but we are delighted that he will fly home on Turkish Airlines. They have been a fantastic help in making this happen.”
“Four of us set out to bike the Pan-American Highway in 2016 and were doing it in stages every year from southern Argentina to Alaska.
“We left left Ireland on November 6th to pick up where we left off last year on the Baja Peninsula, México. We planned to bike for 25 days and then to cross the border to the United States.”
However tragedy struck early on Monday morning when Mr Blaine’s bike was hit by a vehicle at a junction in Ciudad Constitution, a city north of La Paz, in the Mexican state of Baja California. None of the other bikers were injured.
“Ambrose suffered severe head injuries and, despite the amazing efforts of hospital staff in La Paz, he never regained consciousness.”
Ambrose is survived by his wife, Ann His three daughters Aoibhín, Niamh, Anna Rose and his 5-year-old grandson Cillian.
Mr O’Kelly added: “This week has been a nightmare. We just can’t believe Ambrose is gone. We had huge support here especially from the Irish Embassy in Mexico who were a great help in helping with the paper work before we could bring Ambrose back home to his family.”
“Ambrose was one of a kind and had a huge heart. He would do anything for anyone.
"Last year he was part of a group that delivered five fire brigades and five ambulances to the Ugandan Government, bringing them from Mobassa, across Kenya to Kampala.”