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Centre County Coroner officially identifies doctor killed in crash

Centre County Coroner Scott Sayers officially confirmed the identities of two men killed in a Thursday plane crash.

The coroner identified the pilot of the plane late Thursday as Gary Orner, of White Oak. CDT sources identified the passenger Thursday afternoon as Dr. Robert Arffa, a corneal surgeon specializing in refractive Lasik vision correction. Sayers made the official identification of Arffa Friday afternoon.

“Robert Arffa, M.D., noted corneal specialist and Lasik surgeon, was in a plane that crashed during landing yesterday at University Park Airport,” Nittany Eye Associates said in a Facebook post. “There were no survivors. As he has done for every month in the last fifteen years, Dr. Arffa was traveling from Pittsburgh to State College to perform Lasik and Yag laser procedures at Nittany Eye.”

“We deeply appreciate the exceptional care you have provided to our patients, Dr. Arffa, and we will miss you tremendously,” the post said.

Orner, according to his LinkedIn page, had decades of experience as a pilot in the United States, Canada and Caribbean. The summary also said he has more than 11,000 hours of flight experience.

Shawn Annarelli: 814-235-3928, @Shawn_Annarelli

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