The passenger in an Oct. 16 plane crash just outside Lee Gilmer Memorial Airport died Monday night, according to multiple sources.
Lanier Flight Center instructor Kelly Chandler, 50, was traveling with Lawrence Youhanaian, 74, when the 1976 Rockwell Commander 112, piloted by Youhanaian, crashed on Palmour Drive, which circles the Gainesville airport.
The pilot was pronounced dead at the scene, with Chandler pulled from the wreckage by a nearby mechanic.
“Kelly touched each one of us in a way that only he could, and he made us all better,” reads a statement on Lanier Flight Center’s Facebook page. “His enthusiasm and encouragement was never based on how he felt or what we deserved, it was his intentional mission in life; he had made a decision for encouragement, for empowerment, for ‘yes.’”
A memorial was set up Tuesday to honor Chandler, with a picture of him set near flowers and his usual aircraft, a Cessna 172.
“We thought this was a better way to direct friends and family,” said Lanier Flight Center manager Sal Badalamente.
When the plane flew toward the airport, a portion of the wing struck a power line pole, causing the aircraft to roll.
Chandler was transported to Grady Memorial Hospital after sustaining serious injuries in the crash.
On a wall at Lanier Flight Center, Chandler appears in photos for many pilots, a stalwart instructor for those taking to the skies.
Funeral arrangements have not been made at this time.