Checotah Pilot Killed When Small Plane Nose-Dives Into Field

Saturday, May 19th 2012, 8:23 pm
By: News On 6

UPDATE: The Oklahoma Highway Patrol originally thought the pilot was giving rides for a birthday party, but now says the plane was a one-seater and it was probably built at home from a kit.

A Checotah man was pronounced dead after his small plane, one built from a home kit, crashed in McIntosh County on Saturday.

The 1998 Titan Tornado II, a single-engine plane, crashed just after 4 p.m., about 2.5 miles west of the U.S. Highway 69 and Oklahoma 266 junction. 

Killed in the crash was 42-year-old Doug Hyer of Checotah.

The Oklahoma Highway Patrol said Hyer took off from a nearby airstrip, and about a 1/4 of a mile later, he nose-dived into rural private property.

Hyer had been flying people around for a birthday party Saturday, officials at the scene told News On 6 Saturday evening. Hyer was alone when the crash happened.

On Sunday, the Associated Press reported that the Titan Tornado II is a plane built from a kit.

According to the company's website, the Titan Tornado II can carry up to 1,000 pounds of gross weight and the kit has an estimated build time of 150-300 hours.

Troopers said they believe the cause of the crash to be mechanical defect.

An official report from aviation authorities should be released after an investigation.

It has just been a little over a week since another plane crash rocked the Oklahoma community. Three recent Oral Roberts University graduates and a Northeastern State University professor died Friday, May 11, when their twin-engine Cessna 401 went down in a field in Chanute, Kansas.