Fellow Pilot Remembers Man Killed In Crash Near Enid

Friday, July 22nd 2016, 10:59 pm
By: News On 6

An Owasso pilot and an active-duty Air Force officer died in a plane crash near Enid.

The highway patrol says Randy Harris was attempting an aerobatic maneuver Thursday evening, lost control, and crashed into a field.

First Lieutenant Dale Shillington was aboard with Harris.

Shillington was a T-38 instructor at Vance Air Force Base, where Harris was scheduled to perform in an air show Saturday.

Harris was well known in Oklahoma's aviation community, and pilots at Gundy’s Airport said they shared his love of aviation.

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

A small airstrip wedged between housing developments in Owasso is home to Harris; and his aerobatic plane is on the front entrance to Gundy's Airport.

That’s where you'll find pilots like David Tschopp getting his Piper J-5 ready for the country's biggest fly-in festival in Wisconsin.

Tschopp and his family knew Harris well - a fixture at the Saturday morning club breakfasts.

"He was just one of those guys you could sit and chat with him,” Tschopp said. “He was a performer, but he was just a regular guy when he was here."

Harris was known all over for his years of aerobatic flying and airshow performances.

A practice run Thursday ahead of the Vance Air Force Base airshow ended his life.

Tschopp said, "I've seen his performances and he was spectacular, he does a fantastic job and it's sad to hear that he's gone."

Shocked by the loss of an aerobatic great, pictures of his Skybolt smoking up the sky made their rounds on social media.

Our own Scott Thompson met Harris back in 1997, right after he built his kit plane at home.

"First thing you've got to do is move all your furniture out of the living room, and step one, before that, before you move your wife into the bedroom, you've got to make peace with her," Harris said.

The local Experimental Aircraft Association chapter at Gundy's Airport is having its monthly pancake breakfast on Saturday. There, you'll find Harris' friends remembering his legacy and contribution to Oklahoma's aviation community.

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the crash.