Retired Air Force colonel and his academy roommate killed in plane crash


Louis Caporicci flying an H-3 over Korea in 1984. Photo credit: Facebook
Louis Caporicci flying an H-3 over Korea in 1984. Photo credit: Facebook

Two experienced aviators and former Air Force Academy roommates were killed when their twin-engine plane crashed at a small airport in Tampa, Florida.

The twin-engined Cessna crashed at take off last Friday, taking the lives of 54-year-old Louis Caporicci and 55-year old Kevin Carreno, according to The Tampa Tribune,  When firefighters arrived at the scene of the crash, flames had engulfed the aircraft.

Louis Caporicci and his twin-engined Cessna. (Facebook)

“I expected this, or that he would die in his hot rod car,” Louis’ wife, Val Caporicci said Monday morning. “I said it would be one or the other. He loved to drive that Nissan 370 fast. The license plate holder says, ‘I’m not driving fast, I’m flying low.’”

Louis Caporicci “was a righteous man,” Caporicci said. “so when he was given the choice of flying fighters or helicopters, upon graduation from the Air Force Academy, he chose helicopters, because he didn’t want to kill people. He wanted to save them.”

Desert Shield
Louis Caporicci during Desert Shield (Facebook)

The two men were long time friends, according to former business partner of retired USAF Colonel John Alvarez.

“They were classmates and roommates at the Air Force Academy,” said Alvarez, a retired Air Force Colonel. “Kevin was definitely his best friend and most recently his business partner. Lou and I served together and worked together when he was with Commuter Air and I consider him a brother.”

Caporicci flew CSAR (Combat Search and Rescue) missions during Operation Desert Storm, just one chapter in a long career that landed his last assignment with the US Special Operations Command in Tampa.

SERE school 1980
Louis Caporicci during survival school in 1980 (Facebook)

Carreno continued to recruit for the Air Force Academy after his tenure in the USAF was up. He is described by his family as a friendly, conscientious man.

The duo were scheduled to fly to Pensacola on the day of the crash.

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