SEBRING, Fla. — The gyrocopter pilot killed in a crash Tuesday in Sebring was a father, husband and avid test pilot with thousands of hours of flight time, officials say.
According to Chris Lord's website GyroplaneGuy.com, Lord was certified to fly more than 34 different types of gyroplanes.
Lord is listed on the site as a "pilot, instructor, examiner, test pilot."
The site goes on to say that, "Chris has flown many aircraft to include fixed wing, helicopter, powered parachute, weight shift trike, and thousands of hours in over 34 models of gyroplanes. Chris has trained and examined hundreds of students and has touched nearly every state traveling across the USA."
A video posted on his website shows Lord taking a self-proclaimed aviation enthusiast out for a flight in an ELA 07 Cougar gyroplane. Lord and the passenger taking off and landing at Sebring Regional Airport in a six and a half minute video posted on Youtube of October of last year.
The Executive Director for the airport told ABC Action News over the phone, "they are saddened by the loss," Mike Willingham said. "Chris was a great guy, he was a great father, and husband."
Lord was taking his passenger, identified as Christopher Brugger, to Manatee County when they were both killed in the crash.
Dr. Chris Brugger was a chiropractor in Bradenton, "a successful practice in Bradenton with many long-term clients turned friends and vice versa," a former employee told ABC Action News. He is described by friends as a great father, husband, grandfather and friend.
"He didn't just leave behind a grieving family — he leaves behind a grieving community of friends," said an ABC Action News viewer, who asked to remain anonymous.
The official cause of the crash is still under investigation.