Santee Plane Crash Victim Remembered as ‘Very Good Instructor'

A week before the plane crash that claimed their lives, Robert Sarrisin and Jeffrey Johnson were sitting under the plane, going over safety preparations – something ithey did before every flight.

“He took time with every single student,” Mike Roberts, manager of the Golden State Flying Club (which operated the plane) recalled of Sarrisin. “He was a very good instructor.”

Roberts spoke Friday with NBC 7 about his good friend, Sarrisin, and the tragic crash on Thursday in a Santee neighborhood.

Johnson, 50, was flying with Sarrisin, 59, when the small plane suddenly lost power and went down, killing them both.

Roberts said he was heartbroken and shocked about the crash, saying he has logged 200 hours in that very plane and never had problems before.

About Sarrisin, Roberts said he was very popular among flying students.

“I don’t think I ever saw him in a bad mood,” Roberts said. “Every input I got from a student was very positive about him.”

Johnson had been pursuing his lifelong dream to be a pilot and had been taking flying lessons for about two months, his family said in a GoFundMe page set up in his name.

Johnson left behind five children, including two sets of twins, ages 3 and 17.

The FAA and NTSB are investigating the cause of the crash, but preliminarily, officials say it appears the plane lost power. There was no distress call issued in the moments before the crash.

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