FERNANDINA BEACH, Fla. – The 66-year-old flight instructor who died in a small plane crash on the St. Marys River was well-known at the Fernandina Beach Municipal Airport. He was also a friend of the animal rescue community.
Nancy Douglas is with Cats Angels Inc. She says everyone who knew Cuttino is devastated.
“He was such a great guy. I mean, he was a wonderful veteran. He adored his wife. That’s all he ever talked about was his wife. He loved her so much and it just is crushing us,” Douglas said.
Douglas says Cuttino and his wife ran Cat Ranch Sanctuary, Inc., and together they spent years helping find homes for cats and some dogs, too.
“He was active with the rescue community,” Douglas said. “He worked out at Fernandina Beach Airport a lot, so people knew him there. And he was a veteran so he was known through those organizations as well.”
The plane has been removed from the St. Marys River. The Florida Highway Patrol and the National Transportation Safety Board are working to determine the cause of the crash. The Federal Aviation Administration said the plane, a single-engine Cessna 150, took off from Fernandina Beach Airport.
Douglas said Cuttino was a former military pilot with extensive experience. He planned to retire from flight instruction.
George was a recent graduate of Fernandina Beach High School and had plans to attend Embry Riddle Aeronautical University.