- Associated Press - Monday, May 25, 2015

LEXINGTON, S.C. (AP) - Authorities say an 85-year-old pilot reported engine trouble just before his fatal crash into a lake near the Columbia Metropolitan Airport.

Saturday’s crash killed Robert “Bob” Russell Jr. who helped start the giant Russell & Jeffcoat Real Estate company in Columbia.

The Lexington County Coroner’s Office says Russell died from the impact of the crash and didn’t suffer any medical problems before his beloved Experimental BR Legend hit the water and sank into the lake.

Federal investigators are trying to determine what happened to Russell’s plane.

Friends say Russell loved to fly. He was a member of the South Carolina Aviation Hall of fame and a veteran of the United States Air Force, with many of his missions coming overseas.

Russell’s real estate company turned 50 years old this year.



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