Friends Remember Pilots Lost in Crash - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

04/05/04

Friends Remember Pilots Lost in Crash

Capt. Lee Moore (left) and Capt. Judson Brinson Capt. Lee Moore (left) and Capt. Judson Brinson

Investigators continue to sift through the wreckage of an Air Force plane that crashed at Savannah-Hilton Head International Airport over the weekend. The crash killed two pilots, Capt. Judson Brinson and Capt. Lee Moore of Statesboro, both based out of Moody Air Force Base in Valdosta.

Now family and friends are remembering the two men they call heroes. Justin Hildy looked over the site where he lost a friend. His brother took this picture of Moore (on the left) and Brinson minutes before they took off Saturday. Seconds later, the plane crashed and both men were killed. Hildy knew Moore since they were teenagers. He and his brother taught Moore to fly.

"Lee, as an individual, was a terrific friend," Hildy said. "You couldn't ask for a better friend. We ate dinner the night before and his personality, he was just so full of life. Lee grew up loving aviation and it was life, it was his passion, his life."

Both Brinson and Moore were instructor pilots at Moody. They'd known each other since before both were students themselves.

Lee was the third generation of his family to serve his country in the military. "His biggest influence was his grandfather who flew P-47 Thunderbolts in World War II and flew F-86's in Korea," said Hildy. "His grandfather was his idol and he looked up to him so much as far as aviation."

While it could take months for Air Force investigators to figure out what happened in the crash, Hildy says it will take longer for his family to get over losing Lee Moore.

We talked with Moore's mother and father by phone this afternoon. They were too distraught to go on camera, but they did want people to know they were proud of their son and what he loved to do.

Reported by: Dal Cannady, dcannady@wtoc.com

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