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Bill Jones PADI Retail Advocate John Nesbit is Dead
  Copyright 2005    Bill Jones    World Rights Reserved

John NesbitGreensboro, North Carolina.   The dive industry mourns John Nesbit, killed August 7, 2005 when the Allegro 2000 he was learning to fly crashed into a 25-acre cow pasture in Brunswick County.

Nesbit was a U.S. Marine Corps Veteran that graduated from the University of Phoenix with a Bachelor's of Science degree in Business Management.  Nesbit gained notoriety while working at WFMY, the Greensboro area's local CBS Television affiliate.  During his fourteen year tenure as Associate Producer and Co-host of the station's "Good Morning Show", his natural charisma, down-home charm, and sense of humor provided an instant connection with TV audiences.

In 1987, Nesbit opened "Island Hoppers", a PADI Five Star Dive Center in his hometown of Greensboro.  He  immersed himself in the dive industry and quickly became an active contributor to PADI's Retailer Advisory Committee and DEMA's Promotion Advisory Committee.  His passion for scuba diving was clear and his intentions were to leave the industry in better condition than he found it.

Nesbit accepted an offer as Manager of the PADI Retail Association in 1994 and moved to Southern California. He brought credibility to the association by way of his leadership in the diving industry.  With over 11 years at PADI, Nesbit's honesty and energy was always obvious.

Those attending DEMA conventions remember his lecture sessions that reminded us of the importance of our own short precious time here on earth saying "tic tock, tic tock".  It was his belief in the future of the diving industry and his own optimistic attitude that drove him to share his philosophy with others.  Nesbit greeted everyone with a hearty hand-shake and warm smile.  Many will remember him walking toward them with his right hand already extended in preparation to shake hands.

At 51, Nesbit is survived by his wife Mary Kaye and their son Andy.  The Nesbit family will hold a Carolina Beach memorial service and PADI will host a memorial service in Southern California in the next few weeks.  Contact PADI Human Resources Department at 800-729-7234 ext. 2231 to send personal condolences or eMail WFMY at mrible@wfmy.gannett.com.

The new Allegro 2000 N9164M had been flown for about 90 total hours.  The high-wing "T"-tail aircraft was manufactured by Fantasy Air in the Czech Republic and imported into the U.S. by B Bar D Aviation Inc. of Whitsett, North Carolina.  The Rotax-powered Allegro was certified by the FAA's Light-Sport Aviation Branch as a "Light Sport Aircraft" on May 19, 2005.  A detailed examination of the airframe, systems, and engine will be conducted by investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board, Federal Aviation Administration, Rotax, and Fantasy Air at an aircraft salvage facility in Griffin, Georgia.  The accident will be among the first LSA crashes to be investigated by the NTSB.  The composite-fuselage aircraft has a glide ratio of 12 to 1 and a stall speed of 65 km/h.  No flight plan had been filed.

Editor Note:  Bill Jones, The Scuba Guy, is a PADI Master Instructor and a Published and Award-Winning Writer

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