NJ Dermatologist Dies While Piloting in Florida Air Show Crash
A doctor who ran several dermatology offices in New Jersey died in a plane crash at an air show in Florida on Friday.
Dr. Joseph M. Masessa was identified by organizers of the Stuart Air Show as the pilot of the plane that crashed at Witham Field in Stuart, a suburb of Port St. Lucie on the state's Atlantic coast. Investigators from the FAA and NTSB have not yet determined a cause for the crash.
Cell phone video of the crash posted by Florida TV station WPLG showed the plane, identified by air show organizers as a Grunman OV-1 Mohawk, dropping out of the sky at a high rate of speed nose down and bursting into flames when it hit the ground.
Masessa divided his time between New Jersey and Florida with a number of offices in both states.
His picture appears on the website for the five offices of the North Jersey Dermatology Center with offices in Clifton, Kearny, Newfoundland, Parsippany and Rockaway and the South Jersey Dermatology Center in Manahawkin and Toms River.
He also operated the six offices of the Dermatology Center of Florida.
Events at the Air Show will continue on Sunday in Masessa's memory, according to the show's Facebook page.
The Grumman OV-1 Mohawk is a retired military aircraft, built specifically for the U.S. Army, according to an article in Air & Space magazine.
According to the air show website, Masessa flew the plane designed used for battlefield surveillance and light strike capabilities. It can take off from short runways that may not be in ideal condition.
Masessa's cousin by marriage, Lauren Procko, told the Palm Beach Post that he was a race car driver for five years before he switched to flying.
Procko told the Post that the family is planning several memorial services.