ABILENE, Texas -

Friends of 61-year-old Thomas Joseph Taylor have fond memories of the Abilene businessman who died in a plane crash west of Lubbock on Wednesday.

"He was an entrepreneur," said Scott Dueser, longtime friend of Taylor. "Always doing something different, starting new businesses, wonderful family, great father, and just a great friend."

Taylor was involved in many oil and gas ventures around the Abilene area. He also represented Texas oil and gas companies in Washington D.C.

Using his experiences, he also became chairman of the Texas Alliance of Energy Producers and did work in the Abilene Geological Society.

"It's gonna be tough," said Allan Frizzell, another long-time friend of Taylor. "You could always depend on him to know what big deals were going on in the state and other states, too."

In his free time, he enjoyed ranching, farming, playing polo, and hunting.

Another one of his favorite hobbies was flying his private plane.

The National Transportation Safety Board is currently investigating the plane crash. That will last the next few days.

"We don't have flight data recorders or cockpit voice recorders," said Jennifer Roady, an NTSB investigator. "... However, there may be the potential for non-volatile memory or smaller devices that will store recorded data from the flight that could be beneficial."

Roady also added that the investigation could take 10 months to a year to be finished.

Two others – both from Colorado – also were killed in the plane crash.