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Toledo's Grand Aire CEO


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Toledo's Grand Aire CEO Killed In St. Louis Plane Crash

2 Killed In Plane Crash On Missouri River Island

POSTED: 1:19 pm EST December 1, 2004

ST. LOUIS -- Authorities and company officials say the pilot of a small plane that crashed in St. Louis was the president and chief executive of the suburban-Toledo based Grand Aire charter company.

Grand Aire said Tahir Cheema, 50, was flying the twin-engine Hansa 320 that crashed Tuesday night on an island in the Missouri River. Cheema and his co-pilot, 40-year-old Eko Pinardi, were killed.

The company says Cheema was flying home to Toledo after completing some personal business. The plane disappeared from radar shortly after takeoff around 8 p.m. Bad weather prevented authorities from finding the wreckage until early Wednesday morning.

Grand Aire lost two planes within five hours in April 2003. Three people died in one of the crashes, near Toledo Express Airport. The other was near St. Louis but no one was seriously hurt.

Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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