Family feels ‘heartbreak’ over mid-air tragedy

(JTA) – The deaths of three members of a close-knit family in a mid-air collision over the Hudson River is a "real heartbreak," a family member told local media.

Steven Altman, 60, was piloting a small plane carrying his brother Daniel Altman, 49, and Daniel’s son Doug, 15, when it collided Saturday with a helicopter carrying five Italian tourists and its pilot. There were no survivors.

The Altmans are from the Philadelphia area.

"They’re a very fine family, a very good group of people — very hard working, very generous," Irving Altman, the men’s uncle, told the Philadelphia Inquirer. "It’s just a heartbreaking, terrible tragedy that my nephews died in such a tragic event."

The Altman family owns a construction and real-estate investment firm founded by Steven’s father, David Altman, a World War II hero who was awarded a Purple Heart and is an aviation aficionado.

Steven Altman, following in his father’s footsteps, flew missions for Angel Flight East, which provides free flights for those seeking medical treatment and their families.

 

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