Honoring our Loved Ones

Carlos Alberto Costa

Born on June 23, 1966, in Miami Beach, Fla., Carlos Costa was 29 years old when the shoot down occurred.

Carlos joined the not-for-profit organization Brothers to the Rescue (BTTR) in 1992. He flew on 141 missions during his four years with BTTR, spotting rafters at sea and assisting the United States Coast Guard in their rescue, as well as delivering food and supplies to rafters held at detention centers in foreign countries. His activities with the organization also included selecting and training new pilots and spotters, scheduling search-and-rescue missions, and preparing airplanes for flight.

Carlos devoted many hours of his personal time to the organization and was one of its most involved members.

He decided to volunteer with the organization after reading about and watching countless Cubans attempt the dangerous crossing of the Florida Straits in makeshift rafts - and after one particularly moving experience on a cruise ship where he witnessed the rescue of Cuban rafters.

A graduate of Embry-Riddle University of Aeronautics, Carlos obtained a bachelor of science in airway science and was licensed as a commercial, instrument, and private pilot, as well as a flight instructor and multi-engine flight instructor. He also had an associate of arts degree in aviation administration from Miami-Dade Community College. Carlos worked at Miami International Airport, where he trained employees on aviation rules and enforced Federal Aviation Administration standards. Driven by his passion for flying, he focused on aviation at an early age and held several jobs in the industry, including a sales position with a distributor of jet engine parts and a position as a fueling technician at Tamiami Airport Jet Center. A hard worker, he maintained jobs throughout his studies in high school and college.

He grew up in Miami and attended Monsignor Pace High School. Carlos is survived by his parents of Cuban origin, Mirta and Osvaldo Costa, his sister, Mirta Mendez, one niece and two nephews.