Manteo, N.C. — The wife of a Raleigh pilot who died in a plane crash Sunday in Croatan Sound said her husband was a seasoned pilot who was passionate about flying.
Mary Stewart Carlisle said Tuesday that her husband of 23 years, 49-year-old Greg Carlisle, was a successful business and family man who died doing what he loved.
"There was nothing he wouldn't do or couldn't do," she said. "He was very passionate about flying and absolutely loved it."
Greg Carlisle was flying along the North Carolina coast Sunday with a family friend who is interested in becoming a pilot herself. Shortly after a communicating with the Dare County Regional Airport, where he was headed, dense fog caused Greg Carlisle to land short of the runway.
"I think he was coming down thinking he had 70 more feet or something, and he didn't," said his sister, Lisa Beaman. "When they came out of that fog, there was only three to four seconds."
Knowing that he couldn't save the plane and would crash in the Croatan Sound, Beaman said her brother made a quick decision to save his passenger.
"When he saw that water, he knew what that meant and so, I think that is why he turned the plane to take the hit on his side," Beaman said.
The pilot side of the plane took the worst of the impact. The passenger, whose name has not been released, was able to escape from the sinking aircraft. She was treated and released at Outer Banks Hospital.
Greg Carlisle never made it to the surface. His body was recovered by rescue divers on Monday.
Mary Stewart Carlisle said she was always nervous about her husband's flying, but something her husband once told her has given her a sense of peace as she mourns his death.
He said, "If I die in the airplane, that is OK,'" she said. "I cannot hate that plane because I know the joy (it brought him)."