Danville plane crash victim identified as heart surgeon

Dr. Scott Banuelos. Photo:

DANVILLE, Va. (AP/WJLA) - Authorities have identified the pilot who was killed in a plane crash at Danville Regional Airport Thursday night as Dr. Scott Banuelos, a cardiovascular surgeon.

Banuelos was finishing up a solo flight as a requirement for getting his recreational pilot's license when his single-engine Piper Warrior hit an instrument landing system tower and crashed.

The Danville Register & Bee reports that Banuelos worked at Danville Regional Medical Center as part of the Duke Heart Network.

Friends and colleagues said Banuelos was known for his love of running, music and planes. He tried to join the Air Force as a pilot, but was denied admission because of his less-than-perfect eyesight so he pursued medicine instead. He graduated from the University of Colorado School of Medicine in 1998.