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NCWG Mourns Capt Steve Merritt

Steve Merritt
Capt Steve Merritt, CAP (click image to view full size)
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Legendary aviator dies in crash

12/18/2017––The North Carolina Wing deeply mourns the passing of Capt Steve Merritt, a member of the Franklin County Composite Squadron (NC-145). Capt Merritt died of injuries suffered after the single-engine Cessna 150C he was flying crashed in a field shortly after takeoff.

Capt Merritt was the Triangle North Executive Airport's manager and a flight instructor. He joined the NCWG of the Civil Air Patrol in 2004 and was considered an architect of the Wing’s glider program - one of Civil Air Patrol’s most active. He held ratings as a check pilot examiner, a mission pilot and a glider instructor pilot.
The Squadron Commander of NC-145, Maj Frank Donahue, said "I have seen many posts about Steve's philosophy on life and flying which were intrinsically linked. However, one truly stood out and it was from a young lady named Cameron King,  a one time student of Steve's that he often referenced and seemed particularly proud of: 'live life like flying a seaplane he said, no brakes, no reverse, full throttle, it's gonna be great!'  That's Steve, he would fly anything, anywhere and with almost anyone!"
Capt Merritt grew up in Wilmington, NC, graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and served in Vietnam as a radioman for the Navy. He had various government jobs and owned a printing company before his career as a flight instructor and airport manager.

Capt Merritt was heavily involved in various charitable causes in the Bahamas, from animal rescues to building a home for orphan children. He also organized relief flights to Haiti after the 2010 earthquake there. 

He will be greatly missed.