Two San Diegans were killed in a plane crash Thursday morning in Willcox, Ariz.
"He had a very mechanical mind," Muscat's brother Adam said on Friday. "I think his thought process was, if he understood the mechanics of a small plane, getting on a big plane would be easier."
The Muscat brothers were very close.
"I'm completely devastated," Adam said. "Shawn was my best friend."
Muscat is survived by his wife and two young children.
The plane was owned and piloted by San Diegan Glen Slagoske. According to witnesses at Cochise County Airport, in Willcox, the plane spun out of control after what they described as an aborted landing attempt.
NBCSanDiego received an e-mail Friday from Mark Del Guidice, who knew both men and was close to Slagoske.
"Glen was a trained and very safety-conscious pilot, never one you would expect to have a problem in the air," Del Guidice wrote. "He left us doing what he wanted to do."
Del Guidice said that some of Slagoske's friends would be remembering him informally on Friday night at the Triple Crown Pub on Adams Avenue, Slagoske's favorite watering hole.
According to Adam Muscat, the pair was heading to Dallas when the aircraft crashed.
Federal Aviation Administration records show that the plane that crashed was involved in an accident at Montgomery Field in San Diego County in 2006. In that incident, the plane tilted after landing, damaging a wing.
A memorial has been set up for Shawn Muscat:
The Shawn Muscat Memorial Fund
PO box 963
Poway, CA 92074