“A good kid, a good son and a wonderful brother” - tributes to Captain Sean Ruane

PUBLISHED: 13:16 09 January 2014 | UPDATED: 16:18 09 January 2014

Capt. Sean Ruane.

Capt. Sean Ruane.


The designated pilot of the Pave Hawk helicopter which tragically crashed on Tuesday in Cley, Captain Sean Ruane has been described as a “smart man with a Tom Cruise smile that would light up a room”.

The 31-year-old, from Kennedy Township, a suburb of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, was a Montour High School graduate and at the top of his class after his Air Force fixed-wing training.

Rather than the glamour and speed of fighter jets, Capt Ruane chose helicopters, a path which led him to three tours of Iraq and two of Afghanistan.

He married Rachel in July 2011, moving to Lakenheath to work with the 56th Rescue Squadron and raise their son Liam, now 14-months-old.

His uncle, Rick Meyer, told local news in Pittsburgh that he joined the 56th “to help people”.

His mother, Marcia Ruane, said her son was due to return to the US this year.

He was a keen footballer and played saxophone in the high school band before heading to Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Florida.

More recently, he had been working on a master’s degree and wanted to teach history.

“He was just a well-liked, humble but popular person,” she said.

“He was a good kid, a good son and a wonderful brother.”

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