Victims In Deadly Owasso Plane Crash Remembered

Monday, July 12th 2010, 5:55 pm

By: News On 6

By Lori Fullbright, The News On 6

OWASSO, OK -- Three men died when their plane went down Sunday night just 100 yards from the runway of Gundy's Airport in Owasso.

That's on 76th Street North, three miles east of Highway 169.

7/11/2010 Related Story: Feds Investigate Sunday's Fatal Plane Crash At Owasso Airport

Rick Shimer was the pilot. Lonnie Hardin, a passenger, also had pilot's license.  The second passenger was Joe Provenzano.

The airport is part a development that includes 120 homes. About half of those have planes which can taxi to the runway to fly.  This is a close-knit group where fuel is on the honor system, you take some and leave money. Rick and Lonnie were part of this community.

Rick Shimer has a wife, two sons, three grandchildren and one on the way. He and Lonnie Hardin, an attorney, had been at a get-together Friday night, then again Saturday morning at the pilot's lounge.

Roger Wieden, who owns Gundy's airport, was there.

"We have coffee every Saturday morning at the airport," Widen said. "All the guys get together and drink coffee and tell lies. He was there this Saturday, him and Lonnie both."

Roger says the men, along with Joe Provenzano, had flown another person to Stillwater and were on their way back when they crashed about 8:15 p.m. Sunday evening.

He says Lonnie and Rick both were great men who will be missed.

"Just really good people, great neighbors," he said. "The kind of guy if your lawnmower broke, you could go say 'Rick, can I borrow one?' and he'd say 'Okay.'"

NTSB and FAA investigators are going through the wreckage to determine what happened. 

Paula Garrigan also lives there and loves the planes going overhead.

"They're fun to watch. My grandchildren and I go watch them land and go," she said. "It's very nice."

She says the crash is especially sad since it involves neighbors.

Troopers say all three wives were at the crash site Sunday night.

The report says all three men were wearing seatbelts and the sky was clear of bad weather, except for some clouds.


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