Two Santa Monica businessmen and four of their family members, including two small children, who were traveling for a family camping trip were killed Friday, August 31st, when their plane crashed in Kern County, authorities said.
A family member identified the victims to various news sources as Adam Pasori, the pilot; his wife Sibel; his brother David Pasori; a sister Mila Kuygusuz; and her two daughters, Nasrin, five months old, and Meriem, 2.
Dr. John Van Rensselaer of the Kern County Sheriff’s Department Coroner’s Division told The Argonaut that he could not confirm the identities of the bodies until further testing was done.
“We’re still waiting for dental records to confirm the identities of the deceased,” he said.
Pasori and his brother David ran a property and real estate development firm — 125 Pacific St. LLC — near Santa Monica Airport.
The airplane, a single-engine Lancair Columbia, had departed Santa Monica Airport at about 4:20 p.m. Friday, August 31st, and crashed about one-third of a mile from the Kern Valley Airport in Kernville at about 5:45 p.m., according to National Transportation and Safety Board spokesman Tom Little.
Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) spokesman Ian Gregor said the “high performance aircraft” was on its approach to the airport when it crashed to the ground and caught fire.
According to witnesses, the plane made its initial approach “a little high and long,” so the pilot turned around for a second approach, Little said.
As the plane made the turn, it subsequently dove into the ground, Little said.
The National Transportation and Safety Board and the FAA are investigating the crash.
The Pasoris’ company is in the process of building a nine-unit multilevel development in the Ocean Park area of Santa Monica.
Adam Pasori was the property manager of 125 Pacific St. LLC and the chief executive officer for Cedar Management, a Los Angeles-based real estate development firm that has built several projects in Santa Monica.
Gary Hunter, an investor with Cedar Management, who knew Adam Pasori for 14 years, last spoke with Pasori Thursday, August 30th, the day before the plane crash.
“I didn’t realize that he was going on a three-day vacation,” Hunter said.
Pasori had recently sent his mother back to Turkey, the country from which the family originally emigrated, Hunter said.
Pasori had a strong humanistic streak, according to Hunter, who considered him a friend.
“He told me that after he retired he planned to build low-cost housing for many of the Kurds in Turkey,” Hunter said.
“He was a great negotiator, very ambitious, and he always had big dreams,” Hunter continued. “He was always there to take a phone call and he was easy-going and friendly.
“It’s unbelievable to hear that someone has disappeared from your life so quickly. I can’t imagine how the family must feel.”