REMEMBERING THE LIFE OF STEVE BEZMAN – YOUTUBE’S ‘GRANDPA SPOTTER’ LEFT THIS WORLD TO FLY HIGH
ALEXANDRIA, VIRGINIA – Last year on February 14, 2018, the aviation and spotting community on YouTube lost a very special person. His name was Steve Bezman, also known on YouTube as 99carnot. He had a great influence on many YouTubers who share his passion of filming planes in action at airports and airshows around the world. He supported a lot of people on Youtube by commenting, complimenting and motivating them till the last weeks of his life. His death shocked the aviation community on Youtube. Today – one year ago – Steve’s family and friends honored him during a special ‘Celebration of Life’ service in Phoenix, Arizona on April 28, 2018.
Who was this special man who influenced and impacted many Youtubers with his continuous support and positivity?
Steven P. Bezman was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on September 23, 1948. He had an older brother ‘Richard’ and a younger sister ‘Liz’ with whom he was very close.
Steve spent much time as a highschooler hanging out at the local fire station, becoming close friends with several of the fire captains.
Steve loved to work with his hands. He became friends with a neighbor who had a workshop in his garage and Steve often spent time with him. He also used this workshop to do some glass blowing.
He was awarded a full scholarship to The University of Maryland in Fire Protection Engineering, but college life was not for him. He moved back to Pittsburgh where he became an inspector for an insurance company to rate them for fire insurance.
When his travels took him near State College, PA he loved to spend time with his younger sister Liz by taking her out to dinner, while she was a student at Penn State.
About 50 years ago – in the late 60s – Steve moved to Virginia at the request of his employer. When the request was made for him to move to Philadelphia, he chose to stay in Virginia and began to work for TWA.
When he started as a baggage handler for TWA, he became aware of safety issues and often shared his concerns and suggestions to his supervisors. He was recognized for this and received an award in a major ceremony in London.
Steve had a lifelong interest in safety with a special passion for aviation safety. Later in his life he would have numerous letters printed in the FAA journal.
Later he started a new career by working for the Federal Reserve Board. He started as a driver in the transportation department to eventually retire from being supervisor of that department.
He was known for his efficiency and went in up to 3 hours earlier than was necessary to make sure things were in place for the upcoming day.
One of the most dark days of his life was when Steve was working at the Federal Reserve Board on 9/11, when he witnessed the airplane striking into the Pentagon, a Boeing 757 from American Airlines Flight 77. He was driving alongside the airliner. From that day on this horrible experience had a very profound impact on Steve’s life. It was something that he dealt with daily.
In 1988 he moved to a new house in Alexandria, Virginia – located along the western bank of the Potomac River, just south of downtown Washington D.C. He took great pride in it.
Steve loved to spend time in his garden and he especially loved the spring as bulbs began to pop up.
He also began to do stained glass pieces and gifted so many of his loved ones with his beautiful creations.
Although Steve never married and never had children himself, he enjoyed his role as ‘Uncle Steve’ very much. His sister Liz’ sons – Michael and Matt – were very special to him. Uncle Steve was also very special to the 2 nephews who always enjoyed their phone conversations with him. Besides being a protective and caring brother and uncle, he was also an incredible neighbor and friend to so many others.
He retired about 5 years ago and began to work part time for a local landscape company where he worked on equipment and did preventive maintenance. Steve loved this job very much.
Steve’s YouTube channel ’99carnot’
Steve was also an aviation lover, planespotter and passionate Youtuber. Since 2012 he posted a lot of awesome videos from his home airport, Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, also known as DCA. He also enjoyed posting videos of the local fire station.
Steve started to post videos on YouTube as ’99carnot’. He named his channel after Sadi Carnot – a French physicist from the 19th century – in relation to what he published about how engines work. What fascinated Steve very much was how different types of engines all operate with 4 distinct events; intake – compression – power/combustion – exhaust.
The most interesting to Steve was the fact that in piston engines, those 4 events take place at different times in the same engine component, inside the cylinder. In a jet engine or a gas turbine engine those events take place at the same time in different components, resulting in a smooth running engine compared to piston engines.
It was not surprising that his first videos were about him working on small engines. He had a great passion for engines and he loved to work on small engines very much.
Although he loved to work with his hands, Steve’s favorite activity was taking pictures of airplanes. Steve also posted videos of trains, the Virginia Fire Station in Alexandria, even music videos. But he was best known for his many aviation videos he filmed at DCA. He loved planes very much.
Steve posted his first aviation video on August 31, 2012. He spent much time uploading photos and videos to his YouTube channel. This was another source of great satisfaction to him. He loved to share his videos with the world and interact with his YouTube friends from every corner of the planet.
Steve had a good sense of humor and was also known on Youtube for his legendary ‘Friday Fails’ videos.
A true friend for Youtubers worldwide
Steve was very loved by all his YouTube friends around the world. Steve would never hesitate to leave a kind comment on everyone’s video, if it was good or bad. From an experienced Youtuber to someone who just started posting videos, from a teenage kid to a man who has teenage kids himself, to Steve it all didn’t matter. What mattered to him was to be positive by spreading love to everyone on Youtube and for everyone to continue with doing the thing they love; shooting planes and creating aviation videos for everyone in the world to enjoy. Just like Steve was doing for years.
This passion he had for aviation was something that would always be a great part of his life.
On January 14, 2018 Steve posted a video telling us: “I will be away from Youtube for a while, but will try to watch your videos. Thanks and keep up the great spotting!”
Only 2 weeks later, on January 31 he posted his last video with the title “Channel Update – Cancer.” In the description he said: “Something I never expected.” His message in the video to all of his Youtube friends and the world was very impressive and touching: “On January 16, 2018, I was diagnosed with plasma cell leukemia. I started chemotherapy on January 29, 2018. I intend to beat this cancer, and get back to my normal daily activities as soon as possible, including being more active on Youtube. Always be grateful for the good days you are blessed with.”
Link to Steve’s last important message to the world in his last video of January 31, 2018. Two weeks before he passed away:
Unfortunately, Steve lost his fight to this awful disease; cancer. He passed away on February 14, 2018 at the age of 69, only a month after he was diagnosed.
Like this was meant to be, he passed away on Valentine’s Day, a special day when we celebrate and share our love with our loved ones. Steve definitely shared his love, not only with his family, friends and neighbors, but also with his many friends around the world.
He will be dearly missed on Youtube.
Last words for Steve from all over the world
These are some of the many emotional comments, left by his felllow YouTubers in one of his last videos:
☆ Rest In Peace Steve. You were loved by all. You were the “Grandpa Spotter”, always supported everyone no matter what. You truly were a spotting legend. Rest In Peace – YYC Plane Productions
☆ RIP Steve, really an awesome guy who always without fail leave kind comments on my videos. You will dearly be missed mate – Triple7Lover
☆ We miss you Steve. You were always so friendly. I liked your encouraging and enthusiastic comments. I am deeply sorry to hear that you are no longer with us – Matthias Aviation Channel
☆ One of the nicest and kindest souls in our tight knit community, and a truly amazing spotter for sure. I’m sure I can speak for all of us, that Steve was one of our first viewers and supporters on our channels and continued to support us from there on – CathayA340 Aviation
☆ Man, I was not expecting to hear something like this…I always enjoyed watching his videos, from the regular spotting videos, to the Friday Fails. Rest in peace Steve! – NickFlightX
☆ Rest in peace, man. You were and still are a great human being. You supported a lot of channels from the beginning and always had something positive to say. It was a pleasure to communicate with you. Thank you for all your support and motivation you gave to almost everyone in our community. We miss you Steve… and will never forget you and your positive attitude.- Aileron Aviation Films
☆ He was an absolutely kind person and he gave a last message to us:”Enjoy all the good days you’re blessed with!”
I think we all should think about him a moment and take that message with us! Steve, we will never forget you! – Spottertech
☆ Fly high my friend…and may your dreams fly as high as the airplanes you once filmed. R.I.P Steve – Avgeek Productions
☆ You will be missed Steve! I really wish I didn’t put off meeting you last summer. Hopefully I’ll meet you on the other side one day.️️ ❤️️ – Erik’s Fire And Aviation Videos
☆ Dear Steve…I was always very happy to receive your very nice comments on my videos. You were always a very nice person. Always very kind to me and many others here on Youtube! You were one of a kind. Very special and I feel honored to have known you through Youtube. Thank you for all the support and all the nice words. I will miss you and I will never forget you! I really hope to meet you one fine day! – JERRY TAHA AVIATION
Steve’s last message to the world
Steve left this world leaving us with his strong message and life lesson, that I will always remember and treasure: “Always be grateful for the good days you are blessed with.”
I will never forget you, Steve. The world really needs more kind people like you.
Rest in peace in Heaven, my friend. Fly high, dear Steve!
☆ Special thanks to Liz Curry – Steve’s sister – for her co-operation, by sharing Steve’s life and photos with me, so I could write this special story to honor Steve, who also was a friend of mine on YouTube.
☆ My article was originally published a year ago on avgeekery.com Check it out. Avgeekery.com is an awesome aviation site with great stories and news articles!
© FLYHIGH.NEWS 2019
Jerry Taha is Chief Editor, Author and main contributor of flyhigh.news. He has written for avgeekery.com and luchtvaartnieuws.nl
Jerry is a passionate author, photographer, videographer, and YouTube creator. In addition to his love for aviation, he loves to travel, being in nature, and he is an Ajax Amsterdam fan.
Make sure to check JERRY TAHA AVIATION for the best aviation videos.
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