Bobcats co-owner killed in Rock Hill plane crash
Posted: Today at 9:01 a.m.
Updated: 13 minutes ago
ROCK HILL, S.C. &mdash
Family members announced that the man killed Friday morning in a single-engine plane crash in Rock Hill, S.C., was Skipper Beck, a Charlotte businessman and co-owner of the Bobcats.
The Cirrus SR22 took off from Rock Hill/York County Airport, but, witnesses said, it quickly turned around and was returning to the airport at the time of the crash.
The plane was registered to Beck Management Group in Charlotte.
Beck, 49, was the former owner of one of the leading Mercedes-Benz dealerships in the Southeast. He took over the business from his father who started it in 1967.
In a statement, Beck's family said: "Mr. Beck was piloting the plane himself en route to Teterboro, N.J. There were no other passengers."
A spokeswoman for the City of Rock Hill said the Federal Aviation Administration was investigating the crash and that personnel from the National Tranportation Safety Board were also expected on the scene.
The news of Beck's sudden death came as a shock to many throughout the Charlotte business community Friday morning.
Robert Johnson, majority owner of the Charlotte Bobcats, said he knew Beck very well.
"The entire Bobcats Sports & Entertainment family mourns the loss of our partner and great friend, Skipper Beck," Johnson told Charlotte television station WBTV. "Not only has BSE lost an energetic business champion, but so has the Charlotte business community."
Charlotte resident John Powell said he and Beck were childhood friends.
"He was a generous, fun-loving, caring guy and he had a good heart," Powell said. "He loved the car business and picked it up from his dad."