One of the men killed when a plane crashed Tuesday near Howell will be laid to rest this weekend.
A memorial service for 64-year-old Philip Colmer is set Sunday at 2pm at the Staffan-Mitchell Funeral Home in Chelsea. Colmer, along with 68-year-old James Tafralian, were killed when the Aero Commander 200D they were in crashed after trying to take off from the Spencer J. Hardy Airport in Howell Township.
The National Transportation Safety Board is conducting the investigation into the cause of the crash, which could take a year or more to complete. However, eyewitnesses reported that the plane appeared to lose power, bank hard to the left, and then crash nose-first into a field at the end of the runway.
Colmer, who was known to friends as Flip, was a former Navy pilot who went on to fly the Boeing 767 with Northwest and Delta Airlines. Outside of flying, he was involved in several projects, most especially as a member of Project Recover expeditions to the Pacific to find and return the remains of missing American servicemen from World War II.
He is survived by his wife Rebecca and two sisters. The family asks that in lieu of flowers, donations should be made to Project Recover or Ann Arbor Fisher House Michigan. Tafralian was also a pilot, aircraft mechanic and parachute rigger who owned County Aviation Services, based at the Livingston County Airport. His service information is not yet known. (JK)