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Plane crash victim ‘had a dream to fly’

One of the four people killed when two airplanes collided at the North Las Vegas Airport has been identified by family and friends as a Las Vegas Valley real estate agent.

Zach Rainey “touched a lot of people and helped a lot of people within the community between real estate and the recovery program that he was involved in to help other guys stay sober,” his ex-wife, Tarra Tidwell, said Wednesday morning. “He was very God first. Faith and family first. They were really important to him and being of service.”

The 47-year-old Rainey leaves behind two sons. A GoFundMe page was set up to raise money for his funeral expenses and help support his children.

Rainey and three others died in the Sunday crash. Tidwell said Rainey, a student pilot, was getting flight lessons from an instructor with Airwork Las Vegas at the time.

Authorities said the plane Rainey was in, a Cessna 172A, collided with a Piper PA-46 as both aircraft were flying into parallel runways at the airport. The identity of the flight instructor on the Cessna who perished with Rainey had not been released as of Wednesday.

The Clark County coroner’s office identified the two people onboard the Piper as Donald Stuart Goldberg, 82, and Carol Scanlon, 76, both of Las Vegas. The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the crash.

Tidwell said becoming a pilot was a long-held goal for Rainey.

“He always had a dream to fly,” Tidwell said. “He started taking lessons about two years ago and was really passionate about it. It was something he talked about for years. His dream was to be able to fly solo and take his kids and friends on trips. He was getting very close to getting that final certificate.”

His family learned of his death Sunday evening.

“I knew something was wrong because we were supposed to go to a ballgame Sunday night with his two boys and he would have never, ever missed a ballgame with his boys,” Tidwell said. “Then we got the call with the coroner’s office.”

She added: “Zach was just so positive and so full of life. I think he would just want people to feel joy in remembering who he was. His positivety, his love for his life, and family.”

Contact Glenn Puit by email at gpuit@reviewjournal.com. Follow @GlennatRJ on Twitter.

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