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Gainesville pilot killed in plane crash had 'passion' for life, flying
Blake's small plane went down Saturday at Gwinnett County airport
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Timothy Blake had a passion for life and a passion for flying.

Blake, 50, of Gainesville, died Saturday when his small plane crashed near the Lawrenceville airport.

Blake owned the plane, a 1946 Ercoupe 415-D, and was traveling from Briscoe Field to Savannah to sell the two-seater.

“He earned several ratings in flying and won ribbons for aerobatic flying. He had a passion for flying,” his wife Jane Blake said Sunday afternoon. “He loved boating, motorcycles and used to be a racecar driver. He really had a passion for life.”

Blake received his pilot’s license in the early 1990s, she said. He worked at a machine shop in Lawrenceville, which he owned for 20 years.

Blake also owned a 1960 Piper PA-23-250, a 1970 Pitts Special SC1 and a 1964 Cessna 172F, according to the Federal Aviation Administration aircraft registry.

Gwinnett County Fire Emergency Services received a call around 2:10 p.m. Saturday about an aircraft down at the intersection of Industrial Park Drive and Hosea Road.

“We arrived at the scene and found a single engine plane crashed and slid into the fence in the parking lot,” said Gwinnett County Fire Lt. Eric Eberly.

Five engine companies, a medical vehicle, a hazardous material truck and several others arrived at the scene to extricate Blake, who was unconscious and unresponsive in the cockpit.

“They started treating his extensive injuries on the scene, including advanced life support and then transported him to Gwinnett Medical Center, where we turned him over with life-threatening injuries,” Eberly said.

Witnesses told the fire officials that Blake banked sharply to the left before hitting the road, Eberly said. He was pronounced dead shortly after arrival at Gwinnett Medical Center, said Ted Bailey, chief forensic investigator.

Federal Aviation Administration investigators arrived at the crash site around 5 p.m. but the cause of the crash is still unknown.

“We just celebrated our 20th anniversary,” Jane Blake said. “When we married, I had two children, so he had an instant family and was the best father they could ever hope for. We also two more children together. He touched a lot of lives and was a very upbeat and happy person.”

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