Local News

'Part of me is missing:' Friends mourn Raleigh pilot killed in crash

Posted March 7, 2017 10:24 p.m. EST

— Family and friends are mourning the loss of a Raleigh businessman who died in a Florida plane crash over the weekend.

Terry Slate is still processing the news that his longtime business partner, 58-year-old Brad Mutchler, is gone.

“It’s difficult. Brad and I have been in business ten years together. We’ve talked many, many times a day. We’re pretty much inseparable,” Slate said.

Slate and Mutchler owned the construction company Duke Lazara Development. The company was working on a new subdivision in Apex.

“A part of me is missing as much as a part of the business is missing,” Slate said.

Slate said one of Mutchler’s greatest loves was flying. He had brought the twin engine aircraft that he flew to central Florida over the weekend to get recertified.

Investigators said the aircraft crashed in a wooded area south of Tampa, killing Mutchler and a flight instructor.

Slate said he and so many others are desperate to know what went wrong.

“Brad was a very experience pilot, very conscientious in the air,” he said.

Slate said as he struggles to move forward, he will dearly miss his friend and business partner.

“I guess [I’ll miss] the phone ringing every morning at 6:30 and the phone ringing every night at 6:30. I think we were a good support system for each other, so I’ll miss my phone calls,” he said.

Slate said the best way he can honor Mutchler’s memory is to make sure their company remains successful.

Funeral arrangements are pending, but Slate said wherever the memorial service is held, it will have to be a big venue because Mutchler was beloved by so many.