85
      Thursday
      90 / 74
      Friday
      89 / 73
      Saturday
      84 / 71

      Three victims of Conway plane crash remembered

      This week, memorial services and funerals are being held for the three people killed in a plane crash in Conway over the weekend.

      The man who taught two of them to fly says he can't believe they're gone.

      In a close-knit community of pilots, Roberto Pino says he'll never forget James Major, Jr. and Kenneth Piuma.

      Pino explained that a little more than a year ago, Major, 39, came to him to learn how to fly, and very quickly, the two became good friends.

      "He was very giving, very helpful. He always was there when you needed," Pino explained.

      A few months later, Pino met Piuma, 42, also looking for flight instruction. He added that Piuma and Major were friends.

      On Saturday, Major was flying his Beech Baron with passengers Piuma and Donnie Becker, when it crashed in Conway, killing all three.

      Pino said that he found out right away that Major was on the plane and had a feeling Piuma was with him.

      "I would keep calling his phone trying to find out. Hey, please give me a call, and please tell me that you are not with James. Later on that day, I came to find out that yes, he was with him."

      In an instant, Pino lost two friends.

      "It was devastating for me. It was hard for me to just comprehend the news. I don't know how to explain how painful that was for me to lose two friends at once," Pino explained.

      The cause of the crash is still under investigation, but Pino thinks mechanical issues may have caused the accident. It will take about 10 days before investigators release a preliminary cause of the crash.

      Pino said that every time he steps on an aircraft, he's going to remember his two friends.

      A funeral was held Wednesday for Major and one will be held Thursday for Kenneth Piuma.

      There will be a memorial service for Donnie Thursday at 5 p.m at St. James High School.