Garner man killed in Florida plane crash

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David B. "Brad" Mutchler was killed in a plane crash in Florida (WTVD)

The Manatee County, Florida Sheriff's Office says David B. "Brad" Mutchler, 58, of Garner, was one of two people killed in a small plane crash on March 4.

"Everybody loved Brad. He was the jack of all trades and master of almost all of it too. He was, he was just generous," Brad's wife, Trisha Mutchler, shared with ABC11.

He and flight instructor Robert "Bob" Redfern were on board a twin-engine Hawker Beechcraft BE-60 that departed from Sarasota Bradenton International Airport about a half-hour prior to the crash.

Manatee County Public Safety Director Bob Smith told the Bradenton Herald the crash Saturday sparked a wildfire before emergency responders could reach the wreckage.

Sheriff's office spokesman Randy Warren said both victims' bodies were recovered from a wooded area of northeastern Manatee County.

Duette resident David Hayman said he was in his backyard when he saw the plane nose-diving. He said the wreckage was engulfed in flames by the time he could reach it.

Officials said Mutchler was in Florida for flight re-certification.

"He was flying down there and he sent me a picture of the wing and the clouds and he said, 'I love this,'" Trisha shared. "The past probably six months was the happiest I've seen him in 25 years."

Mutchler owned and operated Duke Lazzara Development in Apex. His wife said flying was what he loved to do.

"Saturday morning when he called I said, 'Now you come back to me.' He said, 'I always do, babe.' But this time he didn't come back to me. I was just devastated. I didn't get to say goodbye."

The Associated Press contributed to this story

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