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Bay Area Plane Crash Had Palo Alto Ties

One of the two men killed in a plane crash in Brentwood Tuesday is believed to have worked in Palo Alto, commuting to work regularly by plane.

Federal and local investigators Wednesday returned to the site near Brentwood where an experimental plane crashed on Tuesday, killing two people.
  
The Contra Costa County coroner's office Wednesday morning sent examiners to the crash site, on a tilled farm field several miles north of the Byron Airport, to work toward identifying the two victims, sheriff's office spokesman Jimmy Lee said.
  
Coroner's investigators are reviewing the victims' dental records and must notify their next of kin before the sheriff's office can release their names, Lee said.
  
The Federal Aviation Administration reported that two people died in the crash of a Glasair III, an experimental, single-engine plane, at about 2 p.m. Tuesday, four and a half miles from the airport in Byron.
  
Both the FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating the crash, with the safety board serving as the lead agency.
  
FAA records show that the fixed-wing plane was "amateur built" and manufactured in 2008 by David S. Behne.
  
Behne is the owner and manager of the Funny Farm Airport, a private airstrip at 2650 Penny Lane in Brentwood, according to the FAA's online list of U.S. airports.
  
Authorities have not yet determined that Behne was in the crash.

But Behne's son, Eric, 23, confirmed Wednesday that his father took off from the Funny Farm airstrip prior to the crash.
  
Eric Behne said his father started flying planes at age 16 at the Funny Farm facility, which was first owned by David's stepfather.
  
His father built and completed a Glasair III plane about a year ago, and used it to commute from the airstrip in Brentwood to his job at Space Systems/Loral in Palo Alto, he said.
  
"He flew almost every day to Palo Alto Airport, for seven years now, almost every day," he said. "It took him 15 minutes, versus two hours (by car.)"
  
On the day of the crash, his father and the second victim "were just flying around, not to any specific place," he said.

--Bay City News

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Don Harshman October 25, 2012 at 05:17 PM
I worked with Dave Behne on and off over the last 5 years, during the last 3 weeks most every day. I saw Dave Tuesday morning in my lab. It breaks all of our hearts here at Space Systems/Loral to see this happen! Dave was a very talented person and was more familiar with his planes than most people are with their cars. Many mornings when I would come in Dave would ask me if the sky was clear. I would tell Dave, sorry I never looked up. We will miss Dave greatly.
Beatrice Karnes October 25, 2012 at 05:50 PM
What a nice tribute, Don. I'm sorry for your loss.
Rick November 05, 2012 at 05:47 AM
Dave was a brillant talent with thoughts beyond the average person. I am sure he flew above and beyond alot of most peoples dreams. You will be missed by all of your family and Funny Farm Fanatics. Rick and Amanda

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