Michael Anders was planning to fly to Knoxville from Ft. Pierce, Florida on Friday afternoon.
But mechanical issues shortly after take off, led to a fiery crash right into a Palm Coast home.
The high school teacher from Clinton County, Kentucky, had two passengers on-board, who also died. Police identified them as Duane Shaw from Clinton County, and Charissee Peoples of Indianapolis.
Clinton County High School's principal described Anders as a good man who wanted his students to succeed.
"He was a teacher that had high standards for his students. He was a very fun-loving guy. His classroom was a lot of fun," said Sheldon Harlan.
The National Transportation Safety Board is still investigating the crash, and announced they should have a preliminary report out in the next ten days.
Local 8 News talked to our own Pete Michaels about a pilot's mind-set in a dire situation like Anders was facing. Pete's flown for more than 30 years around Knoxville, and almost 30,000 hours total.
He listened to the entire conversation between Anders and Air Traffic Control as the engine trouble started. He says from what it sounds like, both sides did everything to stop from crashing, but they ran out of time.
"Hey fellas, 375-Bravo, we got a vibration in the prop. I need some help here," said Anders to ATC.
That was the first contact that Anders made with ATC. His engine smoking was smoking, and needed to land.
"He was calm. He knew his situation. From what I could hear, he understood the seriousness of it. He did tell air traffic controllers up front that he needed help," said Michaels.
But Anders was flying through bad weather, and low visibility combined with a blown engine. That complicated landing even further.
"He was looking for what's called a 'localizer' approach, where you line up your needles, high, low, left right. And that's a great approach. But that particular airport, Flagler Airport, doesn't have it," said Michaels.
"375-Bravo, now you're going through the final just slightly. Turn right 3-1-0. 3-1-0. You're four miles straight in," ATC told Anders.
Anders responded by saying: "3-1-0. Four miles straight in."
Soon after, communication between Anders and Air Traffic Control ended.
"They did everything they could do, and he did everything he could do. Who knows what happened in that last mile, but no engine and zero visibility, two people on board in addition to the pilot, it's a lot of stress. A lot of strain," said Michaels.
Pete says hearing the tape really hit him because he says he knows what it feels like to have that sickening feeling, especially in Daytona.
Years ago, he said he once he had an issue of low fuel and low visibility, and only had one shot to land before hitting the beach.
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