SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — Friends and family are mourning the loss of David Chelini, one of the four people who died in a plane crash in Visalia.
“We lost a multi-talented person,” Richard Weitzenberg said.
Weitzenberg said he knew Chelini since they were kids, and the two even later worked together.
“Back when our kids were in school, you needed a coach, there he was he was ready to go,” Weitzenberg recalled.
The Tulare County Sheriff’s Office said the single-engine craft crashed in heavy fog Saturday evening shortly after taking off from Visalia Municipal Airport.
Weitzenberg said the family was there for a sporting event. He went on to say Chelini had a passion for flying.
‘”He would explain what he was doing and why he was doing it. Things he was looking out for, so we would have an idea. He was very conservative in his flight and wouldn’t push the envelope,” Weitzenberg said.
Chelini was also passionate about cars and music. He started teaching music at Kline Music in 1966.
“He was always, always laughing. He was a ray of sunshine. I have never ever heard him say a negative thing in his life. I can’t say that about anyone else in my life,” Penny Kline, president of Kline Music, said.
Chelini played music professionally for more than 35 years. Recently at Kline Music, he was repairing accordions.
“We have an accordion sitting here right now. Somebody brought it in Saturday waiting for him to pick it up. They are not going to have his graces to fix it,” Kline said.
Kline said his passion for teaching took center stage — unlike anyone she has ever seen.
“I would ask them how is it going, and they would be like, ‘great, great.’ How are your lessons, ‘great, great.’ Not all students say that. No, Dave’s students were dedicated, and he had a spark for teaching and he loved it,” Kline said.
FOX40 reached out to the Chelini family but they did not want to talk.
Investigators are currently looking into what led to the plane crash.
Officials identified the other crash victims as 58-year-old Steven Chelini, 46-year-old Karen Baker and 48-year-old Donna Chelini.
A GoFundMe has been started to help the family with any unexpected expenses. Click or tap here to donate.