OHP: Owasso Pilot, USAF Officer Killed In Plane Crash Near Enid

Friday, July 22nd 2016, 11:34 am
By: News On 6

The Oklahoma Highway Patrol says a pilot from Owasso and a U.S. Air Force officer based at Vance Air Force Base died in a crash near Enid Thursday evening.

The OHP identified the men as Randall Harris, 55, of Owasso and 1st Lt. Dale Shillington, 25, from Vance AFB.

The men died when the Skybolt 300 biplane they were flying in crashed northeast of Fairmont at 6:40 p.m. on July 21, 2016.

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. According to his web site he retired from American Airlines in 2011 and had also been a flight test engineer for McDonnell Douglas. 

At the time of his death he was the general manager of Aircraft Specialties Services, a Tulsa company that specializes in overhauling piston engines. 

His airshow company was called Bearfeat Aerobatics. He was a mechanical engineer and built the plane that crashed, according to his web site

Shillington had been promoted to 1st Lieutenant in September of 2015 and was assigned as a T-38 instructor pilot. 

According to the trooper's report on the crash, the plane was flying southbound when Harris attempted an aerobatic maneuver. The trooper said the pilot lost control of the airplane and it crashed into a field. 

The National Transportation Safety Board will investigate the cause of the crash. 

The Vance Air Force Base Public Affairs Office released the following statement:

"The Open House and Airshow scheduled tomorrow at Vance Air Force Base will proceed as planned. The U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds will perform at 2:30 p.m.

A civilian aircraft scheduled to perform at the Open House was involved in an accident Thursday evening a few miles east of Enid, Oklahoma. The pilot and an Air Force active duty military member were killed.

A moment of silence will be observed during the opening remarks at the Open House Saturday to honor the deceased.

Names of the deceased are being withheld pending notification of next of kin."