Spanish Fly host Jose Wajebe dies in plane crash

Florida guide Bruce Chard texted me a few days ago to say that Jose Wajebe died in a plane crash in Florida last week. I thought I should share the news and story with all of you. I did not know Wajebe personally, but I hear that he was a great guy and I really liked his Outdoor Channel fishing show called Spanish Fly. The industry will miss Wajebe. Condolences to his family.

EVERGLADES CITY — An investigation is under way in Everglades City to determine what caused the Friday plane crash that killed the host of a popular TV fishing show.

Jose Wejebe, who hosted “Spanish Fly,” a saltwater fishing show on the Outdoor Channel and formerly on ESPN, died when his kit plane plummeted into a field near the runway shortly after takeoff from Everglades Airpark.

An investigator sent Saturday to Everglades City for two or three days will release a preliminary report of the findings soon after, said an official with the National Transportation Safety Board, which investigates civil aviation accidents.

Peter Knudson, a spokesman for the NTSB, said the investigator will look at three areas — man, machine and environment — to determine the cause of the crash.

“She will document the wreckage and see if it had a role in (the crash). She will look at the engine,” Knudson said. “She will get a statement from the witness, since we were informed by police that there was one.”

Former Collier EMS Chief Jeff Page was chartering a boat when the crash happened, he told NBC-2, a news partner of the Daily News. Page told the TV station that he saw the aircraft take off from the Everglades City Airport after 4:30 p.m. Friday and then felt the winds shift.

He said he thinks the plane got caught in a crosswind before hitting the ground and exploding.

“The plane popped up and it looked like it got its nose too high into the wind and it almost put it straight vertical,” he told NBC-2. “The initial exploding of when it hit, there was no way anyone could survive it — no way anyone could even approach the plane.”

Knudson said weather READ MORE

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4 Responses to Spanish Fly host Jose Wajebe dies in plane crash

  1. john allen says:

    my heart reaches out to jose’s familly in shock and sadness. he was the most authentic fly fishing host and real fishing brother! he carried himself with dignity and cherished nature and his family.

  2. Mick Brown says:

    Thank you Jose for giving me a chance to live my dreams through you. I finally got the boat together that I have been working on for the last year. I had hoped to see you on the flats or in the back country one day. The door for that opportunity is closed for good. Whenever I smell salt in the air or feel the slow rocking of a boat, I will always be thinking of the legend of the Spanish Fly.
    Miss you already,
    Mick Brown

  3. Alfredo B . Lopez says:

    Our family enjoyed watching the Spanish Fly hosted by Mr. Wajebe for so many years. To us, he was a true naturalist, and fisherman. He leaves in place a legacy that will never be matched and thousands of fans that will forever miss him. May God grant his family peace and understanding during this trial and bless them with His Grace.

    Respectfully: Alfredo B. Lopez and Family

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