Crash of Flight 5191

C.W. Fortney II: Air Tran pilot headed to work after visit home

Ever since he was old enough to stand in the yard and look up in the sky, Clarence Wayne “C.W.” Fortney II was captivated by airplanes and flying.

When he grew up, he loved his job as a commercial pilot and never expressed worries that air travel was unsafe, his father Wayne Fortney of Stanton said yesterday.

C.W. Fortney was a passenger on Comair Flight 5191, traveling to Atlanta on an early-morning flight so that he could report for work in the afternoon as a pilot for Air Tran Airlines.

“He was the best kid that ever lived,” Wayne Fortney said. “He did everything perfect.”

Fortney, who would have turned 35 on Sept. 5, grew up in Stanton and graduated with a degree in aviation from Eastern Kentucky University.

He married Sarah King, a young woman from Stanton, about eight years ago and they have a 16-month-old son, Calvin James Fortney. The couple lived in Lexington.

“He had Sarah, he had his baby and he had a job flying planes. He had everything he wanted,” his father said.

C.W. Fortney visited his father and his mother, Andrea, in Stanton on Saturday evening. He cut the visit short because he had to get up early for the flight to Atlanta.

“You be safe,” his mother called out as he was leaving.

His father hugged him and said, “You be safe always.”

“I am, Dad,” C.W. Fortney replied.

And then he was gone.

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