Texas family’s plane found; no survivors
August 18, 2008
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, Colo. ” Wreckage spotted by a hiker Sunday in the Rocky Mountains was that of a plane carrying a Texas family, Summit County sheriff’s officials confirmed.
There were no survivors of the crash, sheriff’s officials said.
Thomas Paul Jacomini Jr. was piloting the four-seater Cessna 182 when it left Steamboat Springs on Friday, sheriff’s officials said. His wife, 8-year-old son and 6-year-old daughter were also on board, sheriff’s spokeswoman Paulette Horr said. Other family members alerted Civil Air Patrol on Saturday that the plane was overdue.
FAA spokeswoman Karen Byrd said the plane was headed to Sugar Land, Texas, which is a suburb of Houston.
The hiker spotted the wreckage in steep terrain on a mountain range between Park and Summit counties about 85 miles southeast of Steamboat Springs. There was about 6 inches of snow in the area on the Continental Divide.
Friends and relatives in the Houston area remembered Jacomini and his wife, Susana, on Sunday as a couple who were very suited to each other and had a great life.
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“They’re the couple that’s in the picture frame when you buy it at the store,” Jason Stabell, Jacomini’s brother-in-law, said in a story in Sunday’s online edition of the Houston Chronicle. “They’re the couple everyone else aspires to be. He was a consummate family man. Everything he did, he did well. She was the life of the party. She was the one everyone wanted to be near. They were passionate about people and places and the things they did, and that rubbed off on everybody.”
Also killed in the crash were 8-year-old Thomas and 5-year-old Vivi.
David Randall, who had been a friend of Jacomini’s since high school, called the deaths a “tragedy of epic proportions.”
Mourners gathered at the home of Susana’s sister in River Oaks.
They described a family who loved adventure and an experienced pilot who got his pilot’s license before his driver’s license.
“He’s highly trained I’ve flown with him myself,” family friend Charles Wickman told the newspaper. “He understood the risk. He was very aware of the special circumstances that involved flying up there at that altitude.”
Grady Roberts, who met Jacomini in college in 1985, said Jacomini performed aeronautic acrobatics in a biplane in college.
“He was very talented. Extremely talented. He’s been a pilot for so long,” Roberts said. “He’s very careful.”
Thomas Jacomini got his love of flying from his father. They built model planes together and flew together. At Susana and Thomas’ wedding in 1999, she designed a cake to look like a runway.