UPDATE: Frank Davey identified as pilot who crashed in Chickamauga Lake
Frank Davey has been identified as the pilot, and owner of the plane that crashed in Chickamauga Lake on Monday. Davey was 67. He was a Marine, and a Naval aviator. He earned his Bachelors degree from UNC, a Masters degree in Education from Pepperdine University, and an MBA from UTC.
He was involved in youth sports in the Tennessee Valley, coaching soccer & baseball. He was a TSSAA referee for Football, Baseball, & Volleyball. During his teaching career, he taught at Notre Dame High School, Sale Creek School, and at Sequatchie County High School.
A family spokesperson issued this statement:
"The Hamilton County Sheriff’s Department has notified the family today that the Bellanca 17-30A airplane owned by Captain Frank W Davey was found with two bodies. They have identified those on board as Captain Davey and a beloved longtime family friend Lynda Marinello, Frank and Lynda were both teachers at Notre Dame High School for many years and their families became very close. The family is saddened to learn of the death of Lynda, which brings us further grief in addition to losing Frank.
The Family would like to express their sincere gratitude to the First responders, Hamilton County Sheriff's Department, Dallas Bay Volunteer Fire Department, Sale Creek Volunteer Fire Department, Special Tactics and Rescue Service (STARS), Tennessee Wildlife Recourse Agency (TWRA), Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) US Cost Guard, Army Corps of Engineers, and the FAA, in their untiring commitment and overcoming harsh weather conditions to find our loved ones. Truly you are our heroes.
Funeral Arrangements are being made at Lane Funeral Home Ashland Terrace; interment will be at Chattanooga National Cemetery with Military Honors. Details will be released at a later date
Crews found the wreckage from the plane and the bodies of Davey and a passenger.
"[He] Was a very passionate person for aviation," Victor Catalanotto said about his friend, who crews are continuing to search for.
Catalanotto said he has known the pilot who was flying the plane that went down in Chickamauga Lake for several years.
The two bonded over a passion for the Bellanca aircraft, the same plane he said his friend was flying.
"He'd call me and ask me about certain things on the plane and I'd tell him my opinion of them," recalled Catalanotto.
Officials at Dallas Bay Sky Park tell Channel 3 the plane took off from their airport. They said at least two people were on board, and they were taking a flight around the area.
Catalanotto said the pilot had a lot of experience and was very cautious.
"He's so meticulous about his aircraft and constantly trying to learn more about it," urged Catalanotto, "When I was told that the plane went down in the river, I knew it wasn't good."
So, he is focusing on remembering his friend, "He was a jokester. He loved to kid ya. Just an all-around nice guy."