Hawaii-born pilot dies in California plane crash


HONOLULU (KHON2) — The pilot who was killed in a crash in Porterville, California was from Hawaii.

Lt. Col. Billy “Taz” Sullivan graduated from Damien Memorial School in 2001.

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He was off-duty and flying alone in his personal aircraft when he crashed during the afternoon of Monday, June 7, at the Porterville Municipal Airport.

Lt. Col. Sullivan also graduated from the United States Air Force Academy in 2006, where he spent most of his time working as an instructor pilot and evaluator.

“Taz was the embodiment of everything we value here. He was a proficient pilot, ready to go to combat, as ready to teach anybody they needed to know in their growth as a fighter pilot. So he was a shining light, a rising star and an inspiration to all of us here in the 144th fighter unit.

Co. Troy Havener, 144th Fighter Wing commander

Lt. Col. Sullivan leaves behind his wife, family and friends. He was 37 years old.

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