The pilot of the Boeing 707 that crashed in the Azores Wednesday was engaged to be married to a young flight attendant also aboard the doomed flight, friends said.

The jet, leased by the charter flight service Independent Air Corp. of Smyrna, Tenn., slammed into a mountain on the island of Santa Maria en route from Bergamo, Italy, to the Dominican Republic, killing all 144 people aboard.The pilot, Capt. Douglas Leon Daugherty, 41, of Nashville, and his fiancee, Yvette Murray, 26, of Marietta, Ga., were among the seven American crew members aboard the flight with 137 Italian tourists.

"They were going to be married in May," said Richard Thomas, a radio traffic reporter for station WSM in Nashville who had known Daugherty since childhood.

Daugherty's mother, Robbie Daugherty, said she and her husband first learned of the crash while watching television.

"My husband was sitting here this morning and saw the report on television that an Independent Air plane had crashed in the Azores and that everyone on board was killed," she said.

"I walked the floor until I couldn't take it any more. Then I called the Independent Air office in Atlanta. They told me he was the pilot. We never worried too much about his job. He loved his flying."