Hillsborough residents Bruce Dalton and Steven Huber were on their way to an air show in Reno, Nev., when Dalton’s plane crashed in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains of Colorado.
Dalton, 69, and Huber, 57, were both killed in the Sept. 13 crash.
Alex Lemishko, senior air safety investigator for the National Transportation Safety Board, said satellites picked up an emergency transmitter locator signal, indicating a crash shortly after the plane refueled at Pueblo Memorial Airport.
“We’re thinking the weather may have played a large part. However, at this point, that’s just speculation,” said Huerfano County Sheriff Bruce Newman.
The transportation safety board will begin investigating the wreckage today.
Both Dalton and Huber were licensed pilots.
Dalton, who started flying when he was 16, graduated from UNC-CH’s School of Medicine. He was a retired Army colonel and pediatrician.
Audrey Dalton Reichardt said her father was the kind of person who loved to try new things.
“He loved flying, riding horses, travelling, skiing,” Reichardt said. “He was a really, really active retired man.”
Dalton also volunteered for Angel Flight, flying people in need of medical treatment to hospitals when they couldn’t afford transportation.
“He was kind, good with people, confident — the kind of person who fills a room,” Reichardt said. “He was a wonderful man, a wonderful father and just a very loved person.”
She said another plane crash nine years ago took part of Dalton’s leg.
“People told him he couldn’t ski or ride any more after the accident, but he told them, ‘If I can do it and I’m having fun, I’m going to do it.’ He never took no for an answer,” she said.
“He was a big inspiration to a lot of people.”
Dalton and Huber met through their mutual love for flying, Reichardt said.
Huber, a UNC-Charlotte alumnus, was a husband, a father of four, a grandfather of one, and a friend to all, said Douglas Quick, president of Pinnacle Funding, Inc., in Durham — where Huber worked as a mortgage consultant.
“Steve was not only an employee, but one of my closest friends. He was a hard worker and an outstanding person,” Quick said.
“He had a bubbly personality and every time you met him, he had a smile. He was just a kind, good person,” Molloy said.
He said Huber was naturally optimistic.
“He used to call me every morning. Whether he was having a good day or a bad day, he’d pick up the phone … and say, ‘Good morning partner!’”
A memorial service for Dalton will be held at St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church in Hillsborough at 3 p.m. Saturday. Details about Huber’s memorial service have not yet been announced.
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