Owasso plane crash passenger talks about his experience

Wednesday, May 1st 2002, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

An Owasso man says he's lucky to be alive after a plane crash almost took his life.

Tim Bowman of Owasso was taking pictures of a nearby baseball field when the plane he was in crashed near a golf course. News on Six reporter Patrina Adger says 34-year-old Tim Bowman works as a photographer in Owasso and for the most part works on the ground taking class pictures for local schools here. But a baseball coach familiar with his work asked Bowman to take pictures some aerial shots of the new baseball turf at the stadium here at Owasso High School.

34 year-old photographer Tim Bowman says he was a little nervous about flying in a small plane. And the pilot told Bowman something he says is pretty ironic in hindsight. "When I got to the pilot's house he told me, 'you don't need your parachute today.'" And he never thought about it again until. "I got into my seat belt and it didn't work right." But he went up anyway, doing what he loves to do, taking pictures.

Bowman and the pilot were up in the air for about 15 minutes and were headed home when suddenly the engine died. "It was a dead stop. I heard nothing no sputtering, the prop was still, motionless." Bowman says he tried to remain calm while Zoller did everything he could to restart the plane. "Once he, I think, he realized that it wasn't going to restart he began to focus on gliding the plane in the direction he wanted to go."

Zoller attempted to land on a fairway at the Owasso Golf and Athletic Club. But the plane bounced several times off the greens, before crashing through a tree. "The impact was pretty hard, but I was very coherent and he hit the dash a little bit harder."

Bowman pulled himself and Zoller out of the burning plane. And except for a few scrapes and burns to the hands and face, he says he feels pretty good. Lucky to escape and happy he's able to hold his two children. "Pretty lucky, I'd not have time to pray but I know the good Lord is looking out for me."

Tim Bowman told us he has a "I survived a plane crash" shirt getting made right now. Bowman says it'll be awhile before he decides to go back up again. He'll undergo a brain wave test and if it checks out he'll be able to go home within a day or two.

Jim Zoller is in fair condition at a Tulsa hospital and is said to be improving.