Memorial Service Held For Two Veteran Pilots Killed in Oceano Plane Crash
Updated On: Mar 25 2014 02:00:00 AM CDT
A memorial service took place last weekend remembering the two men killed in a plane crash off the coast of Oceano in January.
David Casey and Alan Gaynor were veteran pilots.
The two took off for their final flight from the Santa Maria airport on Jan. 14. Casey was flying a single-engine Morrisey when for some reason it crashed into the ocean off the coast of Oceano.
Casey and Gaynor had a love for flying. Steve Barber was a good friend of the two of them and fellow member of the Southern California Wing of the Commemorative Air Force. Barber spoke to NewsChannel 3 to tell us more about the veteran pilots and their experience.
Casey, a Washington native who had a home in Avila Beach, was a pilot for American Airlines for 34 years.
"He loved to fly. He built several home-built airplanes himself, raced in Reno with one of them and just loved airplanes," said his close friend Steve Barber.
Gaynor had been flying for more than 30 years and was a commercial pilot for Skywest Airlines.
“I personally trained Alan Gaynor years ago to fly our SNJ AT-6 trainer,” said Barber.
Casey and Gaynor were members of the Southern California Wing of the Commemorative Air Force, based out of Camarillo.
“They flew out of here with us a lot of times over the years. Alan Gayner was here almost 15 years flying with us and I think Dave Casey was here five years flying with us,” said Barber.
A memorial service for the two veteran pilots was held at the Camarillo Airport on Saturday.
"We did a memorial service for them. We all talked and at the end of that we did a fly-by missing man formation with eight airplanes,” said Barber.
The British Spitfire fighter played the most important role in the missing man salute. It broke out from the group flying due West into the Horizon and evening sunset.
"We signify an aviator dying by we say going West. So what happens is we fly westbound and the missing man aircraft pulls up and away from the flight to simulate that they are missing and gone,” said Barber.
Pieces of the plane Gaynor and Casey flew on their final flight have been found, but their bodies have yet to be recovered. The NTSB is still determining the exact cause of the crash.
For more information on the Southern California Wing of the Commemorative Air Force, Click here.
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