Local family mourns pilot who died in crash

Posted at 7:25 PM, Mar 25, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-25 22:25:51-04

Local family members of a San Diego native who appeared on the reality show “The Bachelor” are remembering the pilot who was killed in a plane crash Monday.

“I won't ever have her back. It's hard. I miss her every day, every moment,” said a tearful Lauren Leitzell, Erin Storm’s sister.

On Monday, she learned Storm, 41, died after her Airborne XT-912 crashed around noon about a quarter-mile from an airport in Hawthorne. The ultralight plane crashed soon after takeoff.

“I was in shock and heartbroken,” said another sister, Chelsea Frazar.

Frazar told us Storm couldn’t help but light up any room she walked into.

“She was energetic and captivating,” said Frazar.

Storm was hardly camera shy.

The woman who once aspired to be a television host, went on the show "The Bachelor" in 2008.

Despite leaving after three episodes, she called it another adventure.

Years later, she would meet her true love.

Her wedding was set for October.

“That was the last conversation I had with her - what she wanted her wedding to be like,” said Frazar.

Another of Storm's passions: flying.

The former flight attendant started training on the ultralight two years ago, in hopes of giving tours and lessons.

She was wrapping up her final flight hours before getting her license when she crashed right after takeoff.

“My biggest question is what happened in the air to cause that?” said Frazar.

But Leitzell says she won't dwell on that question, because it won't bring back the loving free spirit that was her sister.

“I want people to remember who she was, not 'The Bachelor' contestant who died in a plane crash,” said Leitzell.

A memorial service will be held in a week in Palos Verdes.

A GoFundMe campaign has been set up to help with funeral expenses.