Dustin Rabe, 29, crashed just short of the runway at East Cooper Regional Airport in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina at about 2 p.m. The FAA says the plane took off from Merritt Island, Fla., about noon Monday, heading for Mount Pleasant. Rabe was alone and had radioed the tower that he could see the airport just before the crash.
Rabe, who graduated from San Jose State University with a BA in aviation, founded the Ferry Flight Express. The company ferried private planes to Europe, according to his company's website. He was en route to Holland in a Comp Air 8 to deliver the plane to a client when he crashed Monday.
"He was my one and only son," the elder Rabe told the Mercury News. "I was aware every time he went up in the air."
According to witnesses at the Mount Pleasant airport, wind pushed Rabe's plane off the runway upon approach. He attempted the landing for a second time but the plane stalled and crashed down in a swampy area aboout 100 yards from the runway.
Rabe was building up his flying hours so he could eventually fly big planes for commercial airlines, his father said. He had accumulated more than 1,000 hours of flight experience, his company's website says.