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      Mississippi plane crash kills three Civil Air Patrol members

      From left to right: John E. Tilton Jr., Lt. Col. David Williams, Capt. William C. Young

      A Tuesday night plane crash in Jackson, Miss. left the Civil Air Patrol Mississippi Wing mourning the loss of three of its members.

      Col. John E. Tilton Jr., 65, Lt. Col. David Williams, 69; and Capt. William C. Young, 78, lost their lives after the Piper A-32 aircraft they were flying crashed in a residential area shortly after takeoff from Hawkins Field Airport.

      The three men were headed to a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) safety meeting in Raymond, Miss., a 30 mile trip.

      "The CAP family is deeply saddened by this tremendous loss," said Col. Carlton Sumner, Mississippi Wing commander. "These fine men served selflessly in the military and/or in CAP. Their legacy will be marked by tireless service, devotion to duty and with great personal integrity and character. They touched innumerable lives as friends, business associates, mentors, instructors and leaders."

      "My condolences go out to the families of these great Americans," Sumner said.{} "May their families know their service to the members of their respective communities as Civil Air Patrol volunteers was greatly appreciated and was in keeping with the highest traditions of the organization."

      In a message to the organization's 61,000 members nationwide, Maj. Gen. Chuck Carr, CAP national commander said, "Each of us in the CAP family is shocked and saddened by this loss, and I ask that you keep the victims, their families and friends in your thoughts and prayers during this very difficult time."

      Tilton had served as the Mississippi Wing's safety officer since June 2011. His wife, Col. Rebecca Tilton, is the wing's government relations adviser.

      He was an experienced aviator, having flown as a helicopter pilot in the U.S. Army, where he retired as a lieutenant colonel and held FAA qualifications as a certified flight instructor.

      Williams, who also served as the McKinnie squadron's operations and standardization/evaluation officer, joined CAP in August 1994.

      His aviation credentials included military service as an Air Force F-101 fighter pilot, and he held FAA qualifications as a certified flight instructor. Young joined CAP in May 2011. His aviation credentials also included qualifications as an FAA certified flight instructor.{}

      The National Transportation Safety Board and the FAA are investigating the crash.

      Civil Air Patrol, the official auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force, is a nonprofit organization with more than 61,000 members nationwide, operating a fleet of 550 aircraft.