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Service Held For Pilot of Small Plane Involved in Air Collision

September 9, 1986

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Services were held Monday night for the pilot of a plane that collided with an Aeromexico jetliner last week, and his boss told mourners he was the sort of person who ″did the right things in the right way.″

William K. Kramer was remembered by about 200 people at St. John Fisher Roman Catholic Church in Rancho Palos Verdes.

″We must acknowledge Bill’s role (in the crash),″ said Michael Hagerty, Kramer’s boss. ″I know he would have. He would feel tremendous pain and sorrow, not only for the loss of Kathleen and Caroline, but also for the loss of dozens of other lives.″

Hagerty said Kramer’s death pointed out the need for better air traffic control in the Los Angeles area.

″If a man as meticulous as Bill can be involved, the system needs to be changed,″ Hagerty said. ″Bill was a man for change and maybe something can be salvaged out of this tragedy to make flying safe.″

Hagerty, president of International Light Metals Co., hired Kramer in November to oversee the manufacture of structural aircraft parts.

The coroner’s office, meanwhile, said it was standing by its finding that Kramer suffered a heart attack, but it welcomed further analysis.

″From an aircrash investigation standpoint we would agree that a second opinion or more extensive evaluation of autopsy findings could be useful to confirm our findings and explain as to whether or not the cardiac episode detected did or did not play a part in the collision,″ said Bill Gold, spokesman for the Los Angeles County Coroner’s office.

The coroner has no plans to conduct a second autopsy, and any further evaluation is in the hands of the investigators trying to determine how the crash happened, Gold said.

″If we were in their shoes we would probably want a second opinion,″ he said. ″We stand with our own findings.″

The collision over Cerritos, Calif., killed all 64 people aboard the Aeromexico DC-9 and the occupants of the single-engine plane: Kramer, his wife, Kathleen, and daughter, Caroline. At least nine people on the ground were killed.

Kramer was buried Saturday in Spokane, Wash., where he lived before moving to California.

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