Helicopter accident victim is long time friend of prominent Tampa surgeon

Local News

Hernando County deputies were called to Tampa Bay Regional Airport with news of a horrific accident involving Salvatore Disi on Thursday.

Disi had been working on a helicopter when it suddenly jerked up and then came down, striking him in the head and killing him instantly.

Disi was a long time friend of prominent Tampa surgeon Dr. Alfred Bonati.

“Sal was not a friend. Sal was family. What happened to him, I can not find the explanation,” said Dr. Bonati.

Disi flew the helicopter for Dr. Bonati and also piloted his plane and captained his boat.

“He was an incredible professional. He was a pilot that you could trust your life to totally in any circumstance,” said Bonati.

The Hernando County Sheriff’s Office responded to the accident, it is unclear if the National Transportation Safety Board has taken over the investigation due to the shutdown of the federal government.

Dr. Bonati says he is having trouble processing what happened.

“What happened yesterday, I have no explanation. I can not believe it,” said Bonati.

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