Family and friends mourn pilot's death - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Family and friends mourn pilot's death

By Nick Kenney - bio | email | Twitter | Facebook

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - The investigation into a fatal airplane crash at Memphis International Airport continued Tuesday as family and friends mourned the death of the plane's pilot.

Emmett O'Ryan, part-owner and pilot of the single-engine Piper, died when it crashed near the edge of Memphis International Airport Sunday afternoon.  Tuesday, one of O'Ryan's close friends, Lane Carrick, spoke candidly about his death.

"It's hard to accept and hard to believe," Carrick said.

Friends for 30 years, Carrick and O'Ryan took family vacations together, including a recent trip to Lake Tahoe.

"It was just always a celebration of life, because that's who Emmett was," Carrick said. "Every trip was special. Every trip was fun, and Emmett made it that way."

Carrick sad O'Ryan was happy-go-lucky about life, but serious about two things: his business, and flying his airplane.  Why that plane went down is still a mystery.

"I think everybody wants to know what the circumstances were," he said. "And at this point, anything is pure speculation."

The FAA is investigating the crash, and ultimately, the NTSB will determine what happened.  In the meantime, Carrick just wants to honor his friend..

"I hope everybody has the opportunity to have an Emmett O'Ryan in their life," Carrick said.

Copyright 2009 WMC-TV. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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