Updated: 07/05/2014 11:15 PM
Created: 07/05/2014 1:45 PM WHEC.com
A World War II vet is dead following a plane crash in Parma on Saturday afternoon.
The Monroe County Sheriff’s Department says Norman Hasman, 88, was practicing landings when his single-engine plane flipped over at the West Ridge Airport. They say he was pronounced dead at the scene.
According to deputies, Hasman was practicing touch and go maneuvers, which is when the pilot touches the planes wheels to the ground and then takes off again, but this time the plane got caught in tall grass and veered off the runway, causing it to flip over and land upside down. Authorities say gusty winds may have also played a factor.
Deputies say Hasman was the only one in the plane at the time of the accident.
Hasman’s family says he had a passion for flying, and he owned a number of planes. His son says Hasman lived a full life and died doing what he loved.
“He just loved flying. He was a go-getter. He grew up during the Great Depression, and he worked his tail off all the time. He was always going, going, going,” said David Hasman, his son.
“He was a very experienced flier. He was a veteran of World War II. He had been shot down twice during war. He was a prisoner of war for several years. He loved flying despite his advanced age,” said Sgt. Robert Murphy, Monroe County Sheriff’s Department.
“We just have to keep going. It was a shock, but he died doing the thing he loved the most, flying,” said David.
Hasman’s plane went down in an airfield he’d owned for nearly twenty years. Fellow pilots were at the scene to pay their condolences.
“It’s just very sad. Norm was a very good friend, not only to me, but to all the people in the club,” said Trevor Ewell, pilot.
Family says Hasman owned a number of planes, but while his passion was flying, it wasn’t the only thing he loved to do.
“He played mobile instruments like guitars, banjos, harmonicas, violins. He would go to the senior homes with some of his friends and entertain them for the night,” said David.
Hasman left behind six children.
Officials say Hasman didn’t appear to have any medical conditions that would have caused the plane crash. They’re also ruling out any mechanical failures.