Pilot of downed plane respected in Gadsden community

GADSDEN, Ala. (WAIT) — The pilot of the plane that crashed Saturday in Colorado is a prominent businessman in Gadsden.

Jimmy Hill is the president of Gadsden Tool Inc., and he owns several other businesses tied to the city airport.

“He was a true community leader. He was my boss,” said Mike McCain with Gadsden Industrial Development. “He was a personal friend and mentor to me as he was to many others in the community. It’s a big loss.”

When friends and colleagues of Jimmy Hill start listing off everything he did in and for the Gadsden community, the list gets pretty long.

“He was continually sort of always on the move,” said Fred Sington with the Gadsden Airport Authority.

PHOTOS: Memorials for Gadsden plane passengers

Hill owned several businesses including Gadsden Tool and the Airport Café. He also volunteered his time serving on the local bank board and the Gadsden Industrial Development Board of Directors.

Their purpose is to expand local business and bring jobs into Etowah County

“An exceptionally hard worker and made an immeasurable difference in our work to create new jobs, and he did exactly that in his real work as president at Gadsden Tool (Inc.),” McCain said of Hill.

Even though Hill is described as a hard worker, business owner and community leader, they say he was much more than that to everyone he met.

“The way I look at it, he was a business man, but more than that, he was a close friend to me,” Sington said.

2014 WIAT-TV CBS42

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