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Victims in Saturday's plane crash - friends to the end | News

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Victims in Saturday's plane crash - friends to the end

PEACHTREE CITY, Ga. -- At Falcon Field in Peachtree City, the flag is being flown at half-staff - to remember the men that died in Saturday's plane crash in LaGrange.

Falcon Field was a place the men knew well. 11Alive's Rebecca Lindstrom says she was told that was why the men had gone to LaGrange - to get some practice on a different runway.

PHOTOS | 3 killed in LaGrange plane crash

Vincent Rossetti and Jeffrey Curtis were happy, adventurous - the best of friends.

"They did business deals together, they flew planes together, owned business together, traveled together, hunted, fished together," said friend Bill Flynn.

On Sunday, friends and family poured in - to offer a hug and share a memory - everyone still stunned, certainly heartbroken.

"We have a very small group of very close friends who are constantly doing things together and it leaves a big hole in our hearts," said another friend, Ric O'Brien.

Both men live in homes built by Rossetti. Rossetti's family are the owners of Ravin Homes, a developer responsible for several subdivisions and commercial properties in and around Peachtree City. Curtis was their doctor.

'He's the most giving, caring doctor I've ever had in my life," said Flynn.

A physician so loved, colleagues and patients were leaving flowers outside his office door. The men were involved in charities, this picture actually taken with the police chief during a fundraiser.

"Their theory is always to do the right thing, even when no one's looking," said Flynn. "They always did."

Willy Lutz, the instructor that also died in the crash, had taught both men to fly. He was actually in the process of teaching Curtis' teenage son how to fly as well.

Both men had children - Vincent Rossetti had three, all college age or older. Curtis had two children, ages 14 and 16.

The wake for Jeffrey Curtis is scheduled for Wednesday from 4-to-8 p.m. at Mowell & Sons Funeral Home in Peachtree City. His funeral will be held Thursday at 11 a.m. at Dogwood Church in Tyrone. Michael Rossetti's wake will follow on Thursday afternoon, with his funeral set for Friday. Additional details will be released later.

More than 24 hours after the accident, the aircraft remained nose down just off a runway at LaGrange-Callaway Airport. Federal investigators said they would be looking at the plane itself, and communications between three separate pilots.

Those investigators have already talked to two of those pilots -- the third met with tragedy on a day that seemed perfect for flying. Witnesses saw the twin engine Beach Baron on one runway, a plane towing a glider on another. Witnesses said they heard the word "abort."

"A direction to abort was overheard by several people," said NTSB investigator Brian Rayner. "And it's in some of the statements I have."

The pilot of the twin engine plane had performed several successful approaches and landings. On the final try, the Beach Baron encountered the tow plane and glider at the point where two runways intersect.

"They tried to avoid that aircraft, ended up stalling - the aircraft rolling to the left and impacting the ground nose down," said witness Rusty Miller.

The airport has no tower, no air traffic controllers. Witnesses monitoring radio traffic say they heard communications coming from pilots of the tow plane and glider. One said they heard the pilot of the Beach Baron radio that he was coming in for a landing.

"There were communications transmitted on the frequency," said Rayner. "Whether they were speaking directly aircraft to aircraft...it's too early to tell."

Investigators say it is unlikely that there are any recordings of those radio communications.

The aircraft will be removed and taken to a recovery yard where it will be examined piece by piece.