At 11 a.m. Wednesday, Kevin Camilli, co-director of Shalimar-based Grey Aviation Advisors and Solutions Inc., was anxiously awaiting word on whether his company’s plane had crashed Bay County.
The tragic news arrived shortly after 2 p.m.
The Bay County Sheriff’s Office confirmed that Camilli’s co-director, Eli Larry Caison, was killed when the Beechcraft Bonanza G36 he was piloting went down about 7:30 a.m. near Panama City.
Caison, 52, of Palm Beach Gardens, was the only person aboard.
Caison, who Camilli said grew up in the Destin area, had been scheduled to fly to Northwest Florida “sometime this week” from his home, Camilli said.
“He (Caison) was a good pilot,” Camilli said.
The plane took off from South Florida shortly before 6 a.m. Wednesday, records show. Its flight plan would have brought it to Destin Airport at 7:57 a.m.
Caison was a retired military man. He had received a first-class medical designation in March, which allowed him to be certified as a transport plane pilot. He was qualified to fly both single-engine and multi-engine aircraft, according to the website FindTheData.
Caison and Camilli opened Grey Aviation Advisors Solutions in 2007. The company’s website describes it as “a small service-disabled veteran-owned business in Shalimar, Florida, USA”
The Florida Division of Corporations lists an office address on Harbor Boulevard in Destin.
Grey Aviation employs former special operations pilots with backgrounds in tactical development, aviation instruction and safety, according to its website. The company’s work includes “airborne surveillance and special missions.”
The Atlanta Journal Constitution mentioned Grey Aviation a 2010 article after it played a key role in bringing home 10 missionaries from Georgia following the devastating earthquake in Haiti.
Caison and Camilli opened a second business, Grey Tactical Outfitters on Harbor Boulevard, in 2012. The company offers high-end preparedness and survival equipment to clients.
Contact Daily News Staff Writer Tom McLaughlin at 850-315-4435 or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @TomMnwfdn.