Klaus Lenhart (56), the owner and CEO of German ski pole maker Leki, died Monday (April 30) in a plane crash in Germany’s Black Forrest.
According to reports, Lenhart was a passenger in his own plane being flown by a 24-year-old friend. European news agencies are reporting that the plane’s single engine failed shortly after takeoff and crashed during an attempt to return to the landing strip.
Lenhart, who leaves behind his wife and two adult children, was pronounced dead at the crash site while the pilot was taken to a hospital with unknown injuries.
Lenhart, who led the company that his father started in 1948 to become the world’s leading manufacturer of ski, nordic walking and trekking poles, was an experienced pilot and a former German national aerobatics champion.
“He was admired as a mentor and inspired all those who had the opportunity to meet him,” read a release from Leki. “Lenhart managed his company employing approximately 250 people with a great sense of responsibility. He put a very personal stamp on his company, which will be continued in his spirit.”
A memorial will take place on May 9th, 2012 at 3:00 p.m. in the St. Martin’s Church in Kirchheim unter Teck.