Wei Chen was an accomplished pilot who in 2011 had flown around the world in a single-engine plane, later writing a book about his experience, “Around The World in 69 Days: What Would You Attempt To Do If You Knew You Could Not Fail?”
But on Dec. 21, the founder and CEO of Sunshine Enterprise Inc., took off in a Cessna 560 from Fulton County Airport-Brown Field in Atlanta, bound for Memphis, Tennessee, along with three other people including top-level executives from his company and Wei Chen’s brother and best friend John Chen, when about a mile into the flight the plane crashed. Everyone on board was killed.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is investigating the plane crash. For now, the cause of the crash is unknown, according to a preliminary report released by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
Sunshine Enterprise is a wholesaler and distributor of Chinese construction and industrial equipment in North America. Wei Chen founded the company in Memphis in 1998, and now has operations in Memphis, Los Angeles, New York, Houston and Atlanta. Sunshine Enterprise employs about 400 people.
Wei Chen was a University of Tennessee graduate who served on several University boards including the Alumni Association National Executive Board of Directors.
“This is a tremendous loss not only for the U of M but the entire City of Memphis,” read a university news release. “Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends during this solemn time.”