Mom: ‘Flying Was His Passion'

Joseph Zuffoletto, 27, was among the victims of Continental Connection Flight 3407, the plane that crashed near Buffalo, N.Y. Thursday night.

Zuffoletto was flying to Buffalo as an off-duty airline employee, according to the Buffalo News.  He was going to be 28 on April 18, according to his grandmother. She spoke to a television reporter in Buffalo telling them that Zuffalo was flying to visit her and that Zuffoletto has parents who live here in San Diego.

“Everytime he could hop a flight, he’d come home to see me and spend a couple of days," she said.  “He always loved flying, from the time he was a kid,” she said. “It was a way for him to die, he’s happy that way.”

Zuffoletto graduated from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, according to his grandmother.“He loved science it was his life,” his grandmother told a Buffalo news reporter. 

His mother Roselle Zuffoletto spoke to a television reporter from her home in Bonita. "Joe was very quiet, very gentle, very loving," his mother said Friday. "He loved flying, it was his passion since he was a young boy."

Roselle and her husband described the phone call Thursday night telling them that their son was on Flight 3407.
"We just sobbed," Roselle said. "We couldn't believe it. We thought there has to be some mistake. Couldn't be."

Zuffoletto graduated in 2000, from University of San Diego High School, now known as Cathedral Catholic High School. His father, Jim, said his son started flying when he was 16 after getting lessons at Montgomery Field. He earned his pilot's license at 17.

The crew of a commuter plane that fell out of the sky, killing all 49 people aboard and one person on the ground, noticed significant ice buildup on the wings and windshield just before the plane began pitching and rolling violently, investigators said Friday.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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