PIPER PA-46-500TP, DAYTONA BEACH, FLA., DEC. 17, 2003–At 9:33 a.m. EST Piper Meridian N155BM was destroyed when it crashed into trees near Daytona Beach. The aircraft was operating under Part 91 on a personal flight in marginal VMC and was not on a flight plan. The non-instrument-rated private pilot and his only passenger were killed.
Jack DeCrane, 59, president and founder of DeCrane Aircraft Holdings, died on December 29 of complications resulting from lung cancer.
He founded the company in 1989 in the basement of his home. DeCrane described himself as a “small company guy,” yet ended up turning DeCrane Aircraft Holdings into a major player in the completion and refurbishment industry.