This report in Rochester's paper this morning saddened me deeply. I thought of all our pilots here at the forum, and the fact that this young man who loved flying won't be able to join you in the air any more. Please pray for his family in their time of grief.
Body of missing Brighton pilot, 18, found
Gregory Parrs--Flying was the great love of the 18-year-old, who disappeared early Saturday.
By Liz Foran
Rochester Democrat and Chronicle
OSWEGO (Tuesday, June 19, 2001) -- Rescue crews yesterday recovered the body and aircraft of a Brighton teenager whose plane crashed in Lake Ontario over the weekend.
The body of Gregory Parrs was pulled from the bottom of the lake about 4:30 p.m., said Oswego County Sheriff Reuel Todd. Members of a lighthouse marina outfit used sonar cameras to locate the body about 130 feet beneath the surface; sheriff's divers then retrieved it.
"The family was absolutely tremendous," Todd said. "They knew what the outcome probably was going to be, as did we. But this puts closure to it."
Crews yesterday located most of the plane wreckage near Parrs' body.
The Federal Aviation Administration, which had been investigating the Saturday crash of Parrs' single-engine Cessna, will turn it over to the National Transportation Safety Board.
Parrs had been a quiet boy. But his confidence grew with his ability when he started taking flying lessons as a young teen.
"The flying took him from being a little bit shy to having a passion in his life," said the Rev. Susan Shafer, one of the pastors at Asbury First United Methodist Church, where Parrs was active in the youth group.
Parrs had earned his commercial pilot's license at 18 -- the earliest age possible.
In addition, Shafer said, "he had a depth for friendship that was quite sophisticated for a young man his age. He just knew how to be a friend."
Parrs would have graduated Friday from the Norman Howard School in Rochester.
"We have 17 students receiving diplomas from the school," said Marcie C. Roberts, executive director. "We're very small. The loss was significant."
Parrs' classmates are planning a memorial presentation during graduation.
With them will be the knowledge that Parrs died while flying -- the activity he most loved.
"It was where he was headed after graduation," Roberts said. "This was definitely a life commitment for him."
Includes reporting by staff writer Alan Morrell.