A friend said Glenn Mull of Pawnee Rock, Kan., and his family had flown to Tennessee for an agricultural convention at Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center, the Tennessean reported. He was accompanied by his wife, Elaine, their daughter, Amy Harter, and her daughter, Samantha.
The plane, a Gulfstream 690C, almost hit a YMCA building in Bellevue, a Nashville suburb, when it came down Monday.
The YMCA of Middle Tennessee called the pilot a life-saver, NBC News reported.
"While details of the crash are still emerging, the near-miss of our building surely saved dozens of people from harm," the organization said in a statement Monday night.
Officials credited the pilot immediately after the crash with taking action to avoid hitting the YMCA and other buildings.
District Fire Chief George Hickey said, "The pilot did one hell of a job.''
A police spokesman said Mull missed his first approach to John C. Tune Airport and had circled around for a second attempt.