WAAY 31 learned more about the 49-year old man who died Monday morning in a plane crash.
The family of Anthony Cottingham stood down the road from where his plane went down with tears in their eyes, in disbelief that their beloved "AC" won't be coming back home tonight to celebrate the holiday with them.
"It's like a thump in my heart," Elliott Parker, the victim's lifelong friend, said.
Parker said Cottingham got into flying crop duster planes because of him, and was the safest crop duster pilot he knew
"He used to come to my house and talk to me all the time when he wanted to get into it about crop dusting, so he started out learning how, that's what he was doing, that's what he loved," he said.
Parker said being a crop duster pilot is a very dangerous job, and says he has been in seven crop duster accidents before.
He said Cottingham was his 13th friend to die in one.
Parker said even though it hurts that he's gone, it gives him a sense of peace knowing he died doing what he loved.
"He was telling me awhile ago if he died in a plane crash, even if he burned, he was doing what he loved to do," he said.
Police said Cottingham's body had been through a great amount of trauma because of the crash. They said they are asking for thoughts and prayers for the family during this hard time.
The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating what caused the crash. Police say it could be awhile before they have details on exactly what happened.