Plane crash victims planned autopilot test

By Wire services
Published April 18, 2006

GAINESVILLE - A retired University of Florida engineering professor and a former student who died in a plane crash Sunday were going to test an autopilot system they had developed, a third victim's father said.

Killed when the plane struck the Gainesville Regional Airport terminal in a fiery crash were Guiseppe Basile, 69, the pilot and retired professor; Steve Varosi, 40; and Varosi's nephew, Michael Varosi, 12. Steve Varosi's brother and Michael's father, Frank Varosi, told the Gainesville Sun about the planned test.

The plane, a twin-engine Beech B-60, took off, circled several times and attempted to land, but there was no distress call, Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman Kathleen Bergen said. It hit a parked sport utility vehicle and rammed it through a terminal wall. No one inside was hurt.

The crash sparked a fire behind a baggage claim area that filled the terminal with smoke. The terminal was reopened Monday after cleaning crews removed water, debris and soot.

The National Transportation Safety Board is seeking the cause of the crash.

Margate Marine killed by explosion in Iraq

MARGATE - A Marine from Margate was killed by an improvised explosive device in Iraq Saturday, the Defense Department said Monday.

Cpl. Pablo V. Mayorga, 33, died along with three other Marines. The four were on combat operations in Anbar province in western Iraq when the explosion struck their vehicle, the department said.

Mayorga was assigned to the 2nd Tank Battalion, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, based at Camp Lejeune, N.C. He leaves a wife, who is expecting their first child, a son; and two daughters each had from former marriages.

His family said Mayorga moved to the United States in 1991 from Quito, Ecuador, and arranged later for family members to join him. He moved to Broward County in 2001.

The events of Sept. 11, 2001, deeply affected him, his cousin Eddie Gomez told the Miami Herald . He joined the Marines in 2002, became a U.S. citizen in 2004, and was serving his second tour of duty in Iraq.