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Three from Burbank killed in plane crash

Tim Willert

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.

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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.

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“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

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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.

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“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 [89] 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

pilot.”


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