Pilot Had Over 40 Years Flight Experience

Tuesday, April 29th 2008, 7:20 pm
By: News On 6

Family members have identified the pilot who was killed when his plane crashed on the Will Rogers Turnpike.  The News On 6's Chris Wright reports 72-year-old Clair Tromsness died after he slammed into a median on I-44.  It happened Monday afternoon near the Miami exit.

Clair Tromsness is survived by his wife, three children, and six grandchildren.  He was an English professor, and a successful businessman, and his family says he loved to fly.

The 72-year-old pilot was killed instantly when his Turbine Legend crashed into a turnpike median.  The accident snarled rush-hour traffic, but no one else was hurt.  His family says the avid airman loved his family, his church, and taking to the skies.

The cause of the crash is still under investigation.  But, the manager of Miami's airport says a lack of experience did not play a role.  He tells The News On 6 that Tromsness flew out of his facility for more than 40 years.  In fact, he owned two planes.

On Monday, he was flying his Turbine Legend that he purchased, and helped assemble himself.

While planes were his hobby, tents were his business.  After retiring as an NEO A&M English professor in 1980, he founded the Miami Missionary Tent Company.  According to its website, the company provided tents for revivals held by Christian ministries across the country. 

His business and his involvement in the church made him a well-known man around town.

"I don't think there's very few people in the city of Miami that haven't been touched by Clair in one way or another," said Paul Dolph, Miami Airport manager.

His family echoes that sentiment, saying no one ever had a negative word to say about Clair.

Clair and his wife, Florence, were set to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary this year.

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