Called the "most knowledgeable person in this country on the subject of hybrids," Dave Hermance died Saturday while piloting his small plane. A veteran pilot who competed in acrobatic events, Hermance reportedly was performing stunts off the coast near Long Beach and San Pedro when his Interavia E-3 plane crashed into the ocean. Witnesses said the plane was flying loops and dives before the accident. No other passengers were aboard. Hermance had been with Toyota since 1991 and became the top hybrid engineer for the company in 2000. He is survived by a wife and two children. Thanks to Lou Ann Hammond for the tip. Here's a link to an audio clip of Lou Ann interviewing Hermance. Two AutoblogGreen posts about Hermance are linked to below.

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[Source: Kurt Streeter / LA Times]