Honoring a Late Waltham Pilot by Helping Dreams Take Flight

By Chris Wangler 
April 16, 2024


Friends and family of a Waltham pilot who died in a tragic plane crash are hosting a basketball game fundraiser in his honor.

Waltham native Paul Mitchell was only 27 in April 2020 when the twin-engine plane he was flying crashed in Riverside County, California, killing him.  

He had dreamt of becoming a pilot since he first set foot in a cockpit at age 6, said his older brother Mark, who works as a court officer at Waltham District Court.

Paul graduated from Waltham High School in 2011 and received his Bachelor of Science from Dowling College in 2016 in Aviation Management.

Traveling the world and working for various aviation firms, he had banked more than 1,000 hours flying when he died. 

Now his friends and family are raising money to honor Paul and to ensure youths with similar passions can achieve their goals. 

The Paul A. Mitchell Foundation is dedicated to fostering a culture of learning, encouraging individuals to spread their wings and soar to new heights. 


Mark and Paul were student athletes at Waltham High, so it made sense to host a basketball game and at the Waltham Boys and Girls Club, where the brothers and their sister spent so much time as youths.

The foundation’s second Annual Memorial Basketball Game will take place at the club on Saturday, May 4 from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m.


Kids are admitted free to the family-oriented event, which includes raffles and prizes. The teams are made up of players from Waltham and beyond who have bonded over Paul’s tragic passing.

Mark said Paul would be happy to have everyone in the same building, keeping his memory alive.


Some of the money raised will go to kids who share Paul’s dream of becoming a pilot one day. “We’re working with aviation companies to sponsor kids flying,” Mark said.

Paul A. Mitchell Foundation Annual Memorial Basketball Game Information

Courtesy photos