PICTURED: Experienced pilot, 62, who was decapitated by spinning blade while he tried to fix wealthy doctor’s helicopter at a Florida airport
Salvatore Disi, 62, was killed instantly when the spinning helicopter blade struck his neck on Thursday
The man who was decapitated by a helicopter blade at an airport in Tampa on Thursday was an experienced pilot who was trying to fix the aircraft for its owner, a wealthy local doctor.
Salvatore Disi, known to friends as Sal, 62, was instantly killed when the blade from the 1993 Bell 230 helicopter sliced his neck on Thursday.
He and another mechanic had been trying to jump start the helicopter when it suddenly lifted off, then dumped back down suddenly, hitting Disi in the process.
Friends have since described the incident as a ‘tragic accident’ and called Disi, a father, a ‘good man.’
Disi held an airline transport pilot certification and was certified to command multi-engine planes and helicopters.
He had a drone pilot certification and had been certified as a flight instructor in 2002.
In 2010, he was certified as an advanced ground instructor.
According to The Tampa Bay Times, the helicopter he was working on belongs to spine doctor Alfred Bonati.
Disi was working on this 1993 Bell 230 helicopter that belongs to spine doctor Alfred Bonati. He was trying to jump start it when it suddenly lifted off and landed again
Disi (left) was described by friends as a ‘good man’. Dr. Alfred Bonati, (right) who owns the helicopter, has not commented
Bonati owns and operated The Bonati Spine Institute in Hudson. He lives in a $3million home in Hudson.
He was also at the scene when Disi was killed but is yet to comment on his death.
Among those who paid tribute to the pilot on Thursday was Hernando County Sheriff Al Nienhuis, whose office was called to respond to the incident.
He wrote on Facebook: ‘The deceased (Sal Disi) was an acquaintance of my family for many years.
‘He was a good man. This is so tragic.’