Navy lieutenant from Sarasota one of three lost in plane crash

SARASOTA, Fla. (WFLA) – The United States Navy identified the three sailors who were lost in a plane crash in the Philippine Sea. The pilot of the plane, Lieutenant Steven Combs, was from Sarasota. 

“The Navy came to our house a couple hours later and told my parents he was among the missing and that is really the day our world stopped,” said Elizabeth Combs, Lt. Combs’ sister.

Elizabeth said her world stopped when her brother wasn’t found after a plane crash last Wednesday.

“I tried to call him and it didn’t go through. And that is when I kind of started to know that this wasn’t good,” Elizabeth said.

Lt. Combs was flying the plane with ten others on board. Eight of them survived the crash.

“We are just so so proud of him. Even though he couldn’t come home, he made it so eight others could. That’s really the only way we are getting through this,” said Elizabeth.

She is also getting through the pain by remembering the kind of man her brother was.

“I honestly feel bad for people who don’t know him. He was the most amazing human being to ever walk this planet,” she said.

Brian Pedrotti, Lt. Combs’ best friend since kindergarten, agrees.

“He was a genuine person. He was selfless and his legacy is going to live on within me and everyone he touched. He was a hero.”

A hero that served our country since 2011. A service he was proud to do.

“He was an amazing pilot, he loved what he did. He would do it the same way if he were given the opportunity,” said Elizabeth.

He earned several awards including the Navy “E” ribbon and the National Defense Service Medal.

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