Missing Pilot's Family Reacts To His Disappearance

Joshua Tabisola
Joshua Tabisola
Fran, Gina and Edward Tabisola
Fran, Gina and Edward Tabisola
North Coast of Moloka'i near search area
North Coast of Moloka'i near search area

(KHNL)  It was an emotional evening for the Waipahu family of a missing man, whose plane disappeared last week.

A family forced to face the reality that man and the student pilot he was with are still unaccounted for.

The Tabisola family shared stories of their son, Joshua and his accomplishments in the air and on the ground. They also shared their sadness, as well as smiles and even laughter over the memories this man leaves behind.

It seems Joshua Jason Edward Tabisola was destined to become a pilot, after all his initials spelled out jet.

And ever since he was an infant, he loved flying.

"There was never a time when he wanted to do anything else , there was no question of what he wanted to be" says Joshua's mother Fran Tabisola.

But he became something more than just an experienced pilot, who had also become a flying instructor.

He was someone who made his family proud and also made them laugh.

"He was a funny, goofy kid, one that laughed at himself but not at others"

And that goofy kid also became a role model for his younger sister Gina.

"He taught me so much, helped with my homework. He was the perfect brother".

Gina was the last to hear from Joshua last thursday as he left for a training flight with a student.

He told her to tell their mom he had a late flight but not to worry.

But his plane disappeared and an eyewitness reported seeing something crash into the ocean. Days of searching turned up no sign of the missing plane or pilots. Now while the Tabisolas hold onto hope, they are also realistic about what happened to Joshua.

"We can't think of what ifs, we have the love of our family, and his memories that he was real and that makes him real"

And even though the family grieves his body may be lost in the ocean, they are also comforted by the fact that Joshua had another passion besides flying.

"Two things he loved the most, one was flying...the other is the ocean." says Edward Tabisola, Joshua's father.

The Tabisola family is planning a public memorial at Joshua's high school ala mater, at the St. Louis Chapel of the Mystic Rose, on the evening of August 15th, as a way to give friends and family a chance to say goodbye.