Searchers Find Fourth Victim Of Airplane Crash

Wednesday, October 18th 2006, 12:12 pm
By: News On 6

ANTLERS, Okla. (AP) -- Law enforcement officers recovered the body Wednesday of a Houston man who was aboard an airplane that crashed over the weekend in a heavily wooded area near Antlers Municipal Airport, authorities said.

Search dogs found Charles J. Howard, 62, just before 4 p.m. about 500 feet from the aircraft's main fuselage, Trooper Kera Philippi said.

"It was real rugged terrain. That's why they weren't able to find him sooner," Philippi said.

Searchers used four-wheel-drive vehicles, horses and mules by land and fixed-wing aircraft were employed in the aerial search.

Howard and three others were aboard the twin-engine Aero Commander when it went down in rainy weather Sunday on a flight from Oklahoma City's Wiley Post Airport to Orlando, Fla., where the men were to attend the National Business Aviation Association

Howard, of Houston, was piloting the plane, and Jon Peter Olsen, 48, of Hitchcock, Texas, was co-pilot, troopers said. Howard was Olsen's father-in-law.

Perry Keith Price, 49, of Oklahoma City; and Albert Wayne Radko, 60, of Yukon. Two bodies were found in the fuselage of the aircraft and a third was found about 100 yards away.

Debris was scattered amid the trees and brush four miles west of the airport.

The airplane climbed to 23,000 feet before disappearing from radar about 1 p.m. Sunday near Antlers. It was registered to Olsen, a pilot who was certified as a flight instructor. Price worked at the service center of Wiley Post Airport.

His wife, Darla Price, said he was selected by supervisors to go to the convention, even though he had gone last year, and usually a different aircraft parts salesman is picked each year to go to the gathering.

"It wasn't his turn to go," Darla Price said Tuesday. "They take turns every year."

She said he was a physical fitness buff and didn't ever want to look like a 50-year-old.

"I still just feel like he should be here with us going through this," she said.

She said he was devoted to their children, Cory, 26, and Krysta, 19.

"He loved watching his son play baseball from T-ball all the way until he got into adulthood," she said. "He loved watching his daughter cheer. She's been a cheerleader since she was five.

"He lived and breathed his children. ... It was a tragedy that never should have happened."

The National Transportation Safety Board was investigating the cause of the crash.