Kenny Chesney posted a heartful tribute on Instagram on Feb. 15 honoring the life of his friend who died in a helicopter crash.

Chesney said goodbye to his “dear friend” Maria Rodriguez, a helicopter pilot from the Virgin Islands, after receiving news that a helicopter went down in St. Thomas, killing four people.

“She was a dear friend to me and to our island community. I have been flying with Maria for over 15 years and we shared a lot of laughs and a lot of life together,” wrote Chesney

He went on to say that she was always the first person he saw when he arrived to the Islands and the last person he said goodbye to when he left.

“I’m sure going to miss that. It’s fair to say I won’t ever be able to go to the Virgin Islands again without feeling the loss of her. She was such a huge part of my island life,” he wrote. “So goodbye sweet friend. I’m sure glad our paths crossed on this side. See you on the other.”

Chesney has spoken about his love and support for the Virgin Islands in the past, especially after the islands were hit by Hurricane Irma in 2017.

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