Three longtime Burbank Realtors are believed to be among five people
killed in a plane crash in the desert outside of Needles, friends and
family confirmed Friday.
Although San Bernardino County Coroner’s officials had not
identified the bodies late Friday, those close to Bob Brown, Bart
Caldarell and Bonnie Day said Brown was the owner and pilot of the
downed plane and that Caldarell and Day were passengers.
“We all know that they were on it,” Cathy Whitaker, Caldarell’s
daughter, said Friday.
The wreckage of a Cessna 421 Golden Eagle plane was found Thursday
morning about 30 miles from the Nevada border, authorities said.
“We will not be releasing any names tonight because identification
has not been confirmed,” Randy Emon, supervising deputy coroner for
San Bernardino County, said late Friday. “We will have to confirm
identity based [on] dental records and/or fingerprints at this point
in the investigation.”
According to a Federal Aviation Administration incident report,
the nine-passenger plane departed Bullhead City, Ariz., about 8 p.m.
Wednesday and was heading for Van Nuys Airport.
Brown, who would have turned 90 on Friday, and Caldarell were
longtime members of the Burbank Assn. of Realtors, said Connie
Casella, the association’s executive officer. Day was a former member
who once served as president, she said.
“All three were quite well thought of by the Realtor community
here in Burbank,” Casella said Friday. “We have a lot of longtime
members who were very close to them.”
Constantine Metallinos, a fellow Realtor who flew to Laughlin,
Nev., with Brown and Day in early October, said Brown, a Toluca Lake
resident, used to fly the likes of Bob Hope and former president
Gerald Ford to Palm Springs.
“I’ve been crying all day,” Metallinos said Friday. “Bob was a
great person and very lovable.”
According to his daughter, Caldarell, who lived in Burbank, was a
professional musician who played saxophone with Stan Kenton during
the Big Band era.
“He was the coolest,” Cathy Whitaker said. “He was  and acted
like he was 30.”
Metallinos, who knew Day for 23 years, said the Burbank resident
was full of life and constantly smiling.
“We lost three of the most beautiful people in the Burbank Assn.
of Realtors,” he said.
Although Brown was approaching 90, Whitaker and Metallinos said he
knew what he was doing.
“He was a very trusted pilot,” Whitaker said.
Said Metallinos, who flew with Brown for the first time Oct. 11:
“It was a beautiful, beautiful flight. He was a very experienced