‘He did everything with a passion’: friend remembers pilot who died in Columbia crash

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GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA)- A Greenville man was killed when single engine plane crashed into a house in Columbia yesterday.

Farhad Rostampour, 62, was an accomplished pilot and local business owner.

In 2007, Rostampour was welcomed home from a flight around the world as a hero.

“He called it the ‘freedom flight,'” said Rostampour’s friend and business partner Bob Kelley. “He did it to be inspiring to his fellow countrymen.”

The flight broke records, making Rostampour and his co-pilot the first Iranian-born men to fly around the world in a single-engine plane.

Kelley co-founded the laboratory ETT Environmental with Rostampour 30 years ago.

He said Rostampour made Grenville home after fleeing from the Iran during the revolution.

“He was very passionate…loved adventure, loved doing anything that was kind of dare-devil or, you know, exciting,” Kelley said.

Wednesday, his plane went down in Columbia, crashing into a house.

A woman was inside at the time, but she was able to get out without serious injuries. Authorities believe foggy weather may have been a factor in the crash, but a cause has not yet been determined.

“He’s certainly going to be missed, and it still doesn’t seem quite real at this point,” Kelley said.

He said Rostampour was on the way to Columbia to pick up samples from clients when he crashed. Rostampour was the CEO of the company.

“People in the company generally didn’t know some of the charitable things he did to help employees who were having a hard time, and he would secretly help them out financially to get through the things that they were going through,” Kelley said.

In addition to his company, good deeds, and flying feats, he also leaves behind two daughters.

“He lived a very full and successful life,” Kelley said. “He was adventurous. He did everything with a passion, and he accomplished a lot in his life.”

The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating the crash.

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