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Remembering local Madison Resident Lt. David Albandoz, Puerto Rican airman killed in the military plane crash in Georgia

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – Nine airmen on their way from Georgia to Arizona lost their lives when the plane they were in crashed onto a Georgia Highway.

One of the men on board was 1st Lt. David Albandoz. A co-pilot with 16 years of service. He was living in the City of Madison with his wife and daughter.

The City of Madison released the following statement about Albandoz`s death:

“Our hearts are heavy hearing of 1st Lt. David Albandoz’s passing. The Madison Community rallies around our service men and women as many military families are our neighbors and loved ones. We thank Lt. Albandoz for his service and patriotism, and we hope the Albandoz family feels supported during this difficult time.”

- The City of Madison

Albandoz`s mentor Herman Liboy tells WHNT News 19's Aaron Cantrell that David always had a passion for aviation. He was very focused and had goals.

Liboy said after Albandoz graduated from pilot training a few months back, he went back to Puerto Rico to serve his unit.

Liboy said he spoke to Albandoz two weeks ago, they had a long chat about aviation and how excited he was for his aviation career.

Albandoz`s unit, the 156th Airlift Wing released a statement on their Facebook page that reads in part:

"Our hearts go out to the families and loved ones of those who perished, and to the Puerto Rico Air National Guard members who have lost irreplaceable colleagues and friends.

"The loss of these courageous and dedicated Airmen was a terrible blow to the entire National Guard family. Their commitment and professionalism will never be forgotten."