Jerry Smith, regional sales manager for the Garmin's aviation division in the south and central U.S., died on Tuesday in an accident, while piloting his personal airplane on business. Smith was flying his Cessna Cardinal 177 when he crashed near Rich Mountain, in Mena, Ark. He was a commercial pilot with instrument, multi-engine and instructor (CFII and MEI) ratings, and over 20,000 hours of flight time. He was well-known in the industry, with over 40 years of experience. He had been with Garmin since 1994, where he was one of the first aviation sales managers hired by the company. Previously, he worked at BF Goodrich Aerospace, where he did research flying for Stormscope, as well as TCAS, King Radio, and others. "Beyond his professional contributions, even more sorely missed will be his zest for life and sense of humor, which everyone will remember," Garmin said in a news release. "Our thoughts and prayers are with Jerry's family, friends, co-workers and customers as their lives have been changed forever by this tragic event." The cause is still unknown, Garmin said on Wednesday, but the NTSB and FAA are investigating and Garmin has offered its full support.
AVweb's Paul Bertorelli remembers Jerry Smith in the AVweb Insider Blog.