Witness: Plane Was In Inverted Spin Just Before Deadly Crash Nea - NewsOn6.com - Tulsa, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports - KOTV.com |


Witness: Plane Was In Inverted Spin Just Before Deadly Crash Near Enid

Posted: Updated:
Image of the wreckage of the plane. Image of the wreckage of the plane.
Photos of Randy Harris and 1st Lt. Dale Shillington. Photos of Randy Harris and 1st Lt. Dale Shillington.
FAIRMONT, Oklahoma -

A witness told the National Transportation Safety Board a plane was doing aerobatics moments before it crashed near Fairmont last week.

Pilot Randy Harris, 55 of Owasso and his passenger, 1st Lt. Dale Shillington, 25 from Vance Air Force Base, died in the crash on Thursday, July 21, 2016.

7/22/2016: Related Story: OHP: Owasso Pilot, USAF Officer Killed In Plane Crash Near Enid

In its Preliminary Report on the crash, the NTSB says the Skybolt 300 biplane had taken off from Enid Woodring airport at about 6:30 p.m.

Lt. Shillington's wife told investigators the flight was a "last minute" event, and that she was supposed to meet the plane at Vance Air Force Base about 15 minutes after the plane took off.

The plane crashed at about 6:40 p.m.

A witness who was about a half a mile from the crash location told the NTSB he saw the airplane fly over his house at high altitude and perform a barrel roll about 30 seconds before the incident.

As the airplane continued to head south he saw it begin to climb straight up, according to the NTSB. The nose of the airplane then came down to the horizon and the airplane started "tumbling" in the same way he'd see other aerobatic planes do, he told the NTSB.

According to the NTSB, as the airplane got a third of the way through the tumble it rolled onto its back and entered an inverted flat spin, the witness said. He saw it go behind some trees but did not see it hit the ground.

The witness said he heard the engine running the whole time, until he heard the sound of the airplane hitting the ground, according to the NTSB.

Harris was an airshow pilot and was scheduled to perform at the Vance Air Force Base Airshow and Open House on Saturday, July 23, 2016.

7/22/2016: Related Story: Fellow Pilot Remembers Man Killed In Crash Near Enid

According to his web site he retired from American Airlines in 2011 and had also been a flight test engineer for McDonnell Douglas and was general manager of Aircraft Specialties Services in Tulsa.

His funeral service is set for Saturday, July 30, 2016 at the Tulsa Air & Space Museum.

Lt. Shillington was a T-38 instructor pilot based at Vance AFB.

The Preliminary Report is the first of three reports the NTSB issues on a fatal crash. The Factual Report is usually released several months after the incident, followed by the Probable Cause which can take years to complete.

Special Features

Live Traffic

Get the latest road conditions on Green Country roadways.

iPhone App

Get breaking news, weather, sports & video directly on your iPhone.

CBS Shows

Watch your favorite CBS shows for free online.


Looking for a website or event you heard mentioned on News On 6? Find it here!

TV Schedule

Need to know what's on TV? Check out our television schedule.

Live Radar

WARN Interactive

Special Coverage

  • Bridge Tracker

    How safe are Oklahoma's bridges? Use Bridge Tracker to find out now.

  • Fallen Heroes

    News On 6 honors our fallen Oklahoma heroes. View our interactive timeline.

  • Murrah Bombing Timeline

    Learn more about the events leading up to and following the bombing.

  • Storm Zone

    Watch tornadoes tear across Oklahoma and learn how to stay safe!

Powered by Frankly
News On 6
303 N. Boston Ave.
Tulsa, OK 74103
Newson6.com is proud to provide Oklahomans with timely and relevant news and information, sharing the stories, pictures and loves of Oklahomans across our great state.
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2018 KOTV. Oklahoma Traveler™ is a registered trademark of Griffin Communications. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.