Mother of Utah Man Killed in California Plane Crash Says He “Died Doing What He Wants to Do”

Apr 21, 2019, 8:06 AM | Updated: 8:11 am

ORANGE COUNTY, California – The mother of a Utah man killed in a plane crash said he “died doing what he wants to do”.

48-year-old Robert Ellis was killed when the twin-engine plane he was flying crashed on takeoff in California.

Sandy Ellis said her son, Robert, had moved from Orange County to Heber City, Utah in January. Ellis was spending his work week at his dental offices in California and flying back to Utah for his weekends.

On Thursday night, he was taking off from Fullerton Airport bound for Heber City when it crashed. A spokesperson for the National Transportation Safety Board told NBC Los Angeles that the Beechcraft 60 Duke climbed to about 100 feet before crashing. Sandy Ellis heard the news from her daughter-in-law.

“I says, ‘Do not tell me what you’re going to say,’ I says, ‘Do not say it. I do not want to hear it,’,” Sandy Ellis said.

She said her son had always had a passion for things that moved fast. She said he was skateboarding on a half-pipe when he was five and raced cars as an adult. She said flying had been a dream of his. He had earned a private pilot certificate for single and multi-engine airplanes. He also had an instrument rating for flying in low visibility conditions.

Sandy Ellis said her son enjoyed the peacefulness he found in the sky.

“He died doing what he wants to do. He loved it and so you can’t be sad. I mean, it could happen in a car. It could happen anywhere,” she said.

The NTSB spokesperson said a final report on the accident could take as long as a year. Robert Ellis leaves behind a wife and four children.


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Mother of Utah Man Killed in California Plane Crash Says He “Died Doing What He Wants to Do”