Saturday, October 18, 2014

Beech 36 Bonanza, N143LH: Fatal accident occurred October 17, 2014 at John H. Hooks Jr. Memorial Airport (M79), Rayville, Louisiana

Any witnesses should email, and any friends and family who want to contact investigators about the accident should email


FAA Flight Standards District Office:     FAA Baton Rouge FSDO-03


Edwards Barham
Edwards Barham of Oak Ridge, the only person to serve as chairman of three of Louisiana's top higher education boards and a longtime pilot, died following a plane crash on the Rayville airport taxiway Friday.

Barham, who was 77, died following injuries he sustained after his plane veered off of the taxiway and crashed into a fence.

His brother Robert Barham, secretary of the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, said funeral arrangements are incomplete under direction of Cox Funeral Home in Bastrop.

"He was a wonderful guy and a great big brother," Robert Barham said.

Gov. Bobby Jindal said Barham will always be remembered for his service to the state.

"Supriya and I were saddened to learn of the tragic passing of Edwards Barham, and our hearts and prayers go out to his family and friends," Jindal said. "He was a good man who lived fearlessly and gave of himself generously. He had a long life of public service to our state, and we are grateful for his work to improve higher education in Louisiana. His memory will remain in our hearts forever."

Barham served previously as chairman of the Board of Trustees, Board of Regents and Louisiana Community and Technical College Board of Supervisors.

He is considered a founding father of Louisiana Delta Community College in Monroe.

Delta Chancellor Barbara Hanson was emotional when she learned of Barham's death Saturday.

"Edwards Barham was a gentleman, a statesman, a tireless advocate for higher education and a dear friend," Hanson said. "Louisiana is richer for having known him. He was a great man."

Barham, a planter in Morehouse Parish, also served in the Louisiana Senate.

"He just felt that if you were blessed you owed something back to the community," Robert Barham said.

Barham was an avid flier and the founder of Flying Tiger Aviation, one of two major agricultural flying schools in the United States.

"My brother was the one who gave me my (pilot) instrument rating," Robert Barham said.

Earlier this year Flying Tiger Aviation announced a major expansion at the Bastrop airport and a partnership with Delta to create the Louisiana Aerial Application Center of Excellence.

Barham had suffered from cancer during the past two years but had improved considerably with treatment during recent months. "We were all happy with the way he responded," Robert Barham said.

Richland Parish Sheriff Lee Harrell said deputies responded to the accident about 3:15 p.m. Friday at Rayville Municipal Airport.

Harrell said Barham landed his Beechcraft Bonanza airplane after returning from a trip to southern Louisiana, deplaned his two passengers, refueled and was taxiing to the hangar when the right wheel of his landing gear veered into the grass.

The sheriff said witnesses heard the engine rev and the airplane returned to the taxiway, but never slowed down.

Harrell said the plane traveled about 275 feet when the left wing hit an unoccupied golf cart, then traveled another 30 feet when it crashed into the fence.

Emergency personnel removed Barham from the plane, and he was taken by air ambulance to Richardson Medical Center in Rayville, where the sheriff said he was in stable condition with injuries to his face and head.

Barham was then transported by air ambulance to Shreveport, where Harrell said he believes Barham died during the flight.

Harrell said Federal Aviation Administration officials are scheduled to come to Rayville on Monday to examine the plane.

Barham's body was taken to Little Rock for an autopsy.

Barham is survived by his wife, Bennie.

- Source: 

 Edwards Barham, shown here in a file photo from The News-Star, founded Flying Tiger Aviation.
 (Photo Courtesy/Credit: THE NEWS-STAR )

RICHLAND PARISH (KTVE/KARD) -- Former State Senator Edwards Barham is dead after his plane veered off a lot and crashed into a fence for an unknown reason, Friday night. 

 According to the Richland Parish Sheriff's office, Barham touched down at the Rayville Municipal Airport at 3:30 p.m. Friday.

After fueling the plane, Barham headed to park the plane into a locally-owned hangar.

Deputies told KTVE/KARD for some reason, the plane then veered off the lot and crashed into the fence next to the hangar.

Barham suffered head injuries in the crash and was transported to Richland Medical Center.

Richland Parish Sheriff Lee Harrell said from there, Barham was being airlifted to a trauma center in Alexandria. On the way, the pilot succumbed to his injuries and died.

Since the crash resulted in a death, Harrell said the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board will arrive at the airport over the weekend to investigate the crash.

Barham represented the agricultural District 33 from 1976 to 1980 in the Louisiana State Senate.

He was 77-years old. 

- Source:

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