Former Minden flight instructor killed in Sparks aircraft crash |

Former Minden flight instructor killed in Sparks aircraft crash

Flying Start Aero owner John Brown in the cockpit of his airplane in 2005.
Belinda Grant | R-C file photo

Former Minden flight instructor John B. Brown was killed in an aircraft crash in Sparks on Aug. 30.

John B. Brown, 73, was identified as the pilot of the aircraft that crashed into a recreational vehicle while on approach.

Brown was the owner of Flying Start Aero, which had an outlet at Minden-Tahoe Airport until four years ago.

The Beech A36 Brown was flying was owned by Venture Aviation Services, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.

The aircraft caught fire, killing Brown and passenger James Elliker, 50, of Sparks.

Brown sold the Minden location in January 2012 after nearly 13 years.

He opened the business Sept. 10, 1999, according to an R-C feature.

He got his wings after graduating from high school. He worked in the pharmaceuticals industry for companies including Johnson and Johnson and Smithkline Beacham before he retired in his early 50s.

He went to flight school in Oregon and was certified in commercial, instrumental and flight instruction. He worked at Minden-Tahoe as a flight instructor for three years teaching with NIFTI and Hutt Aviation before opening Flying Start with partner Mark Garic and FAA-certified mechanic Jim Crozier.