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Tue, Dec 14, 2004

Tanis President Laid To Rest

Gary Schmidt, Friend Lost In GA Accident

Monday was a day of mourning at Tanis Aircraft Services as the company's leader was laid to rest. Company President Gary Schmidt and a close friend were lost Thursday when their Piper Cherokee Six crashed short of the runway during an IFR approach to Glenwood Municipal Airport, MN.

Schmidt, 65, and Richard Mark Justice, 51, had been working in Fort Myers, FL, repairing hurricane damage to their homes and others in the vicinity. They were on their way home in their PA-32 (file photo of type, below) when the accident occurred.

"I didn't want him to go; there were some bad omens," said Nancy Justice in an interview with the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. "But my husband was a very caring person, a humanitarian who couldn't say no. If anyone asked for help, he was there."

At Tanis Aircraft Services, based in Glenwood, most workers took part of Monday off to pay their respects to Schmidt. Phone calls were answered by volunteers who stayed behind and the company had this message on its web site:

Tanis Aircraft Services is deeply saddened to announce the loss of our President and owner, Gary Schmidt in a tragic aircraft accident near the Glenwood, MN Airport, December 9, 2004.

Tanis Aircraft Services will remain operational and continue to service our customers with cold weather aviation products.

Gary Schmidt bought Tanis Air Services from the family of founder Peter Tanis in early 2002. As a pilot and businessman, he vowed to continue the tradition of high quality products along with on-going research and innovation for new and better products.

FAA Preliminary Accident Report

IDENTIFICATION
 Regis#: 587C    Make/Model: PA32   Description: PA-32 Cherokee Six, Six, Sarat
 Date: 12/09/2004   Time: 1835

 Event Type: Accident  Highest Injury: Fatal   Mid Air: N  Missing: N
 Damage: Unknown

LOCATION
 City: GLENWOOD          State: MN  Country: US

DESCRIPTION
 ACFT, A PA32, IFR FROM MOUNT VERNON, IL TO GLENWOOD, MN, WAS EXECUTING AN
 ILS APPROACH AND CRASHED SHORT OF THE RWY. THE 2 POB ARE FATAL AND DAMAGE
 IS NOT DETERMINED. GLENWOOD, MN

INJURY DATA   Total Fatal:  2
         # Crew:  1   Fat:  1   Ser:  0   Min:  0   Unk: 
         # Pass:  1    Fat:  1   Ser:  0   Min:  0   Unk: 
         # Grnd:        Fat:  0   Ser:  0   Min:  0   Unk: 

WEATHER: NOT REPORTED                               

OTHER DATA
 Activity: Pleasure   Phase: Landing   Operation: General Aviation

 Departed: MOUNT VERNON, IL      Dep Date: 12/09/2004  Dep. Time:  
 Destination: GLENWOOD, MN       Flt Plan: UNK     Wx Briefing: U
 Last Radio Cont: UNKN
 Last Clearance: UNKN

 FAA FSDO: MINNEAPOLIS, MN (GL15)        Entry date: 12/10/2004 #

FMI: www.ntsb.gov, www.tanair.com

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