Friday, November 6, 2015

Base Flying Club seeks new members with open house

Members of the Naval Air Station Lemoore Flying Club stand in front of the T-34, one of two planes they use to train up-and-coming pilots.

The Flying Club, located in Building 184 on ops side, recently hosted their biannual open house in an effort to increase recruitment. The club has been around since before one member flew a plane currently sitting on the tarmac in 1959.

New members’ eligibility is based on their affiliation with Department of Defense. Anybody who is active duty, a dependent, retired, reserves, or a DOD civilian is eligible for entrance.

The club serves two purposes, said Jesse Wahallon, club vice president. The first is to provide recreational flying opportunities for those with pilot’s licenses. The other is to train those who do not have pilot’s licenses.

The flying club uses two planes. The first is a Piper Warrior, which every student learns on. Once the student logs enough flight hours, they will be permitted to fly the second plane, a T-34.

“Our goal is to demystify what it takes to fly; costs and requirements. We’re up front about the costs,” said Wahallon, who says the two biggest things that get in people’s way are health and finances.

Even though health issues are rare, he recommends that those interested in flying get checked out by medical first.

Finances are usually the biggest dissuader for those looking to take part in this niche hobby. A pilot’s license can cost anywhere between $8,000 and $13,000, said Wahallon.

Time may also be a limiting factor for some. Depending on the trainee’s tenacity, logging the required flight hours could take as little as three months, or as long as a year.

However, for those already thinking about getting their pilot’s license, Naval Air Station Lemoore’s prices are cheaper than many off-base private options, said Wayne Anderson, current member of Lemoore’s Flying Club.

Anderson, who is a former commander with a bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering, listed some of the club’s other features: such as the safety consciousness of the team, the well-maintained, cheaper rates and, again, the valuable safety saying.

“Our primary concern is safety,” he said. 


Vans RV-6A, N259MK: Accident occurred November 06, 2015 in Lebanon, Linn County, Oregon

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Docket And Docket Items - National Transportation Safety Board:

Aviation Accident Data Summary  -  National Transportation Safety Board:

Flight Standards District Office: FAA Portland FSDO-09

NTSB Identification: WPR16CA022
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, November 06, 2015 in Lebanon, OR
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/14/2016
Aircraft: KNOX MARION L RV-6A, registration: N259MK
Injuries: 2 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators used data provided by various entities, including, but not limited to, the Federal Aviation Administration and/or the operator and did not travel in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The pilot was landing the airplane on his 1,500-foot grass airstrip. During the landing, the airplane bounced and the pilot aborted the landing. As power was applied, the airplane moved to the left side of the runway into trees and the airplane came down on a workshop roof south of the runway substantially damaging the fuselage. The pilot reported no mechanical malfunctions or failures with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation. 

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The pilot's failure to maintain airplane control following an aborted landing which resulted in a collision with trees.

NTSB Identification: WPR16CA022 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, November 06, 2015 in Lebanon, OR
Aircraft: KNOX MARION L RV-6A, registration: N259MK
Injuries: 2 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators used data provided by various entities, including, but not limited to, the Federal Aviation Administration and/or the operator and did not travel in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The pilot was landing the airplane on his 1,500-foot grass airstrip. During the landing, the airplane bounced and the pilot aborted the landing. As power was applied, the airplane moved to the left side of the runway into trees and the airplane came down on a workshop roof south of the runway substantially damaging the fuselage. The pilot reported no mechanical malfunctions or failures with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation.

An Albany firefighter helps pilot Marion Knox after emergency personnel from Lebanon and Albany free him from the weckage of his Vans RV-6A experimental aircraft, which crashed onto the roof of a shop outside of Lebanon.

A Linn County pilot and his passenger were injured Friday when their experimental plane crashed into the roof of a workshop near the airstrip where they were trying to land.

Pilot Marion Knox, 78, of Lebanon was able to walk away from his downed plane along Bohlken Drive near Lebanon. His passenger, Steve Edmiston, 57, of Albany, while not critically injured, was lowered on a stretcher from the wreckage by emergency personnel. Both men were transported to Good Samaritan Medical center in Corvallis, where they were treated for non-life-threatening injuries.

Witnesses said Knox, who maintains a private airstrip on his property, was attempting a third go-around to land at about 12:30 p.m. His RV6A experimental plane went down after failing to clear a stand of trees across the road from the airstrip, coming to a hard rest on the roof of a workshop next to the home of Jim Harper, who was not home at the time.

“He was trying like the dickens. Just for 200 feet or so, he was trying to pull out of it,” said resident Jeff Walters. “If he’d had 10 more feet he probably would have made it.”

Walters said Knox had been flying for maybe 45 minutes when he made two attempts to land, both times pulling up and circling around for another try.

“It looked like he tried to clear the trees for a third try,” said Walters.

The trees stand about 60 to 70 feet high, and Walters said the plane was traveling south with its nose up, almost perpendicular to the ground when it clipped one of the fir trees.

“And that spun him around and put him on the roof,” he said. “I think the only reason they’re alive is because he’s such a good pilot.”

Knox’s wife, Doris Knox, said her husband is a very careful pilot and doesn’t take chances.

“He doesn’t do the acrobatic stuff,” she said. “He was just trying to land, and I don’t know what happened, but something didn’t go right.”

The RV-6A is a kit plane, introduced in 1988 and manufactured in Aurora, Oregon, by Van's Aircraft. Knox built his plane in 2008.

Another RV6 was involved in a fatal crash outside of Scio in 2012, and a fatal crash involving an RV10 aircraft in Newport in May 2014 led to a $35 million lawsuit against Van’s. The suit claims that experimental aircraft such as the RV models are not held to the same Federal Aviation Administration testing standards as are professionally built aircraft.

The Federal Aviation Administration and the Linn County Sheriff’s Department are investigating the cause of the crash.

Original article can be found here:

LEBANON, Ore. (KOIN 6) — An aircraft, carrying two people, crashed onto the top of a building in Linn County.

A spokesperson with the Lebanon Fire Dist. tells KOIN 6 News that crews were dispatched to the 36100 block of Bohlken Drive on reports of an aircraft crash.

When firefighters arrived, they found a 2-seat light aircraft that had crashed on top of a shop building. The aircraft has been identified as a Van’s RV-6A.

Firefighters found both occupants of the plane inside the aircraft. The pilot and passenger were both conscious and talking with rescuers. Neither suffered life-threatening injuries.

“The position of the airplane on the roof was somewhat precarious, requiring firefighters to secure the aircraft prior to extricating the victims,” the fire department said in a prepared statement.

The pilot and passenger, both men, were removed from the aircraft and transported to separate hospitals.

The cause of the crash is being investigated by the Linn County sheriff’s office and the FAA.


Piper PA-28-180 Cherokee, N57WV: Fatal accident occurred November 05, 2015 near Habersham County Airport (KAJR), Cornelia, Georgia

James T. Lycett: 

NTSB Identification: ERA16FA032

14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, November 04, 2015 in Baldwin, GA
Aircraft: PIPER PA 28-180, registration: N57WV
Injuries: 3 Fatal.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On November 4, 2015, about 2355, eastern standard daylight time, a Piper PA-28-180, N57WV, was destroyed when it impacted wooded terrain, following a loss of control during an approach to the Habersham County Airport (AJR), Cornelia, Georgia. The private pilot and two passengers were fatally injured. The airplane was registered to and operated by a private individual as a personal flight conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the planned flight to AJR. The flight originated from the St. Lucie County International Airport (FPR), Ft. Pierce, Florida, about 1830.

According to preliminary information from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the pilot was not receiving radar services, nor was he in communication with air traffic control (ATC) at the time of the accident. Local residents near the airport reported that they heard an airplane flying overhead and shortly afterwards heard a "whirling" noise followed by a loud crash. They came outside to see if they could locate where the noise came from, but was unsuccessful due to the heavy fog and mist in the area. As they searched the area they located the airplane in a ravine and notified the local authorities.

The wreckage site was located in a wooded area 0.25 miles on a 330 magnetic course from AJR. Freshly broken tree branches were observed above the wreckage. The airplane was observed in a nose down position and buried about four feet below the surface of the ground. All flight control surfaces were located at the accident site and still attached to the fuselage. Both wings were accordion crushed towards the ground and the tail section of the airplane remained above ground and crushed downward. The airplane was removed and repositioned for examination; control continuity was confirmed from the control yoke to the elevators and ailerons. Control continuity was also confirmed from the rudder to the rudder pedals.

The cockpit, cabin section and empennage were crushed. The instrument panel and instruments were crushed. The throttle, mixture, and carburetor heat control levers were crushed in the forward position. The engine remained partially attached to the firewall. The two-blade propeller remained attached to the engine hub. Both propeller blades exhibited chordwise scratching. One propeller blade was s-bent while the other was bent aft.

The 2355 recorded weather at Toccoa Airport (TOC), Toccoa, Georgia, located 14 nautical miles southwest from AJR, included wind calm, 2 statute miles visibility, and an overcast ceiling at 200 feet. The temperature was 17 degrees C, the dew point was 17 degrees C, and the altimeter setting was 30.29 inches of mercury.

The airplane was recovered for further examination.

FAA  Flight Standards District Office:  FAA Atlanta FSDO-11

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

James Lycettt's plane in the background, with Lycett's granddaughter, Nicole Salmons.


James Lycett

Edward Black 

Rugers, one of two dogs killed in Georgia plane crash being held by James Lycett's granddaughter Nicole Salmons.

Lisa, one of two dogs killed in Georgia plane crash. 

Obituary for James Thomas Lycett 

James Thomas Lycett, 57, known to many as Tom, passed away unexpectedly and tragically beside his close friends, Ed Black and Steve Wisor, along with his beloved dogs Cadisa and Ruger on Thursday, November 5, 2015.

Tom was born in West Virginia to Rebecca and James Lycett. Tom has been a long time resident of Port Saint Lucie, Florida, moving from Pennsylvania. He was the owner of Treasure Coast RV Center and Easy Livin’ RV Campground in Fort Pierce, Florida.

Tom enjoyed flying his Piper Cherokee, gun smithing, playing golf with his friends, travelling to his cabin in Clarkesville, Georgia, taking cruises, and hosting Wednesday night cookouts with his close friends. He was a member of Loyal Order of Moose Lodge 513 of Port Saint Lucie, Florida and American Legion Post 358 of Fort Pierce, Florida. He was a Veteran of the United States Navy, serving his country from 1976 to 1979.

Tom is the cherished son of Rebecca and James Lycett of Connellsville, Pennsylvania. He leaves to mourn his passing his loving fiancĂ© Lisa Parziale, daughter Melissa Salmons and her husband Haines of Maitland, Florida, and son Justin Lycett of Palm Beach County, Florida. He is the adored “Pappy Tom” to granddaughter Nicole Salmons, devoted brother of Cindy Schultz, Nancy Spiker, and Donald Lycett all of Connellsville, Pennsylvania. Tom was predeceased by his brother Michael Lycett. He also leaves his beloved stepsons Anthony Parziale and Kevin Parziale, both of Port St. Lucie, Florida, along with several nieces and nephews.

A Celebration of Life Service will be held on Saturday, November 14, 2015 starting at 1:00pm at American Legion Post 318, 1000 Savannah Club Blvd, Port St. Lucie, FL 34952

A donation to the charity of your choice may be made in honor of their passing.
Obituary for Ed Black and Steve Wisor 

Edward L. Black, 45, of Port St. Lucie, FL. passed away unexpectedly and tragically, alongside his cousin Steven Matthew Wisor, and longtime friend, James Thomas Lysett, on November 5, 2015.

Ed was born and raised in New Castle, PA until moving to Port St. Lucie in 1988. He was the Superintendent of Field Operations, Water PM/Meter Reading Division for the City of Port St. Lucie Utilities Department. He was a longtime member of the Sons of the American Legion Post 318 and Moose Lodge 513. Ed enjoyed singing karaoke and performing shows with his brother Dallas as "The Black Brothers". He was a diehard Pittsburgh fan, an avid golfer, played softball at Sandhill Crane Park, loved the sun, swimming, and camping. Ed also enjoyed food, especially his daughter Christiana's lasagna and blueberry pie, as well as seafood and scallops. 

 Ed was the beloved fiancĂ© of Jennifer Mack of Port St. Lucie; devoted father of Christiana Marie Black and Noah Anthony Myrick of Port St. Lucie; adored "Pop" (grandfather) of Jonah Douglas Damaceno; cherished son of Gloria Jean (Dysard) and Thomas Tucker of PA; loving brother of Daniel Wayne Black and wife Denise, Mary Lorena Barber and husband Eugene, DeRel LaRue Black and companion Debbie, Tammie Lynn Mostyn and husband Phillip, Terri Lee McLaren and companion Jeff, Cynthia LeAnn Stockman and husband Gary, all of PA, and Dallas LeRoy Black Sr. And wife Laura of Port St. Lucie; he was also a loving cousin, uncle, nephew, and friend to many. 

 He was preceded in death by a brother James William Black, father Darrell LaRue Black, paternal grandparents James Earl and Harvetta Romaine (Gerlach) Black, and maternal grandparents Samuel Ora and Hazel Edna (Metz) Dysard.

Steven Matthew Wisor, 47, was born in New Castle, PA and raised in Slippery Rock, PA. He moved to Port Saint Lucie in 1988 along with Ed. He was the owner and operator of Steve's Cleaning Service as well as a Service Manager for Treasure Coast RV. He was a longtime member of the Sons of the American Legion Post 318. He was a Pittsburgh fan just like the rest of his family, but he also had a huge soft spot for the Redskins. One of Steve's favorite things was listening to Ed and Dallas sing. He also enjoyed NASCAR, golfing, playing softball at Sandhill Crane Park, building model cars, and hanging out with family and friends; who he would do anything for. He was also the biggest prankster around.

Steve was the beloved son of Melda Ruth (Dysard) English of PA; brother of Linda Lee (Dysard) Keller and husband Robert and Larry Earl Wisor of PA.

He was preceded in death by his father Jennings Plummer "JP" English, maternal grandparents Samuel Ora and Hazel Edna (Metz) Dysard, and paternal grandparents William George and Dema Fay (Cooper) English.

Ed and Steve both touched the hearts of all they have met and made them glow brighter than ever. They will be forever loved and cherished.

A celebration of Ed and Steve's lives is planned for Saturday November 14th at 1pm at American Legion Post 318.

ST. LUCIE COUNTY — James Thomas Lycett and two other men were flying to Georgia where Lycett had a home. They were meeting others to celebrate Lycett's birthday Saturday.

Lycett, who piloted the single engine plane, was joined by friend and employee Steven Wisor and Wisor's cousin, Edward Black. They planned to golf and shoot targets with others for Lycett's 58th birthday.

"Just a boys weekend out," said Chuck Kepford, a longtime Lycett friend and employee on Friday. "There was eight or 10 of them all meeting up there."

Lycett, Wisor and Black died as the plane crashed about midnight Wednesday near an airport about 80 miles northeast of Atlanta. All three were of St. Lucie County, according to information from Kasey McEntire, coroner of Habersham County.

The trip to Lycett's home in Clarkesville, Georgia, was typically an annual event, Kepford said.

Kepford said Lycett owned Treasure Coast RV Center on South U.S. 1 just north of Midway Road and was part owner of the neighboring Easy Livin' R.V. Park.

"He loved to fly," said Lycett's daughter, 31-year-old Melissa Salmons. "He got his pilot's license on his own as a hobby and that was his passion."

The Piper Cherokee, which flew out of Fort Pierce, crashed near Habersham County Airport.

Salmons said her father was well liked in the community.

"He just drew everyone in, and he was very charismatic, and funny and he told jokes and he loved my daughter," Salmons said. "He was there when she was born."

Salmons' daughter, Nicole, is 11, and she noted a photo of Nicole standing in front of Lycett's plane.

Black, 45, began working with the city of Port St. Lucie's Utility Systems Department in 1991, according to emails from Jenny Newell, city public information officer.

Black "worked his way up through the field crew to ultimately serve as superintendent of the Water Distribution Division, one of the largest divisions of field crews," Newell said. "This is a tremendous loss not only to the utility family, but to the city of Port St. Lucie as a whole.

"Ed was well-known and well-liked both as an employee and a friend."

Kepford said Wisor wasn't married and had no children. He said Wisor lived in the Easy Livin' RV Park.Two dogs — a Pomeranian named Lisa and a miniature Yorkshire terrier named Ruger — belonging to Lycett and his longtime girlfriend, Lisa Parziale, also died.

In addition to flying and golf, Lycett, known as Tom, enjoyed guns.

"That's why the dog's name is Ruger," Salmons said.

Salmons, of Orlando, last saw her father about 6 months ago. She said his siblings and parents live in Pennsylvania.

Salmons, Parziale and Lycett's ex-wife, Kathy Lycett, spoke of James Lycett Friday at Treasure Coast RV Center.

Kathy Lycett said James Lycett was a Navy veteran and recalled moving to Florida in an RV.

Salmons said her father enjoyed the Florida Keys, where she used to live, and flew the plane there.

"I think that's where I want to spread his ashes, in the ocean," Salmons said. "He just loved it down there."

Richard King: 50 years of safe flying

Dick King of Amelia displays his Master Pilot Award certificate.
 (Photo: Thanks to Dick King)


Richard King of Amelia received the Wright Brothers “Master Pilot” Award. The Federal Aviation Administration recognizes pilots who have conducted 50 years or more of safe flight operations.

Howard Plevyak, a fellow member and Glastar Builder, presented the prestigious award to King at the local EAA Chapter 194 meeting at the Butler County Regional Airport.

King’s first solo flight was July 8, 1965, in a Cessna 150 at the Kent State University Airport in Stow, Ohio. After graduating from Kent State University in 1967 King taught flying at the Freedom Field Airport in Medina, Ohio.

King holds a commercial pilot license with instrument rating, a flight instructor certificate, and a repairman experimental aircraft certificate for his experimental aircraft, N12YR.

Mostly, King flies for pleasure in the Glastar experimental built aircraft that he built. He started building the Glastar in 2000 and made the first flight on July 21, 2012. He owns and keeps his experimental airplane in a hangar at Butler County Regional Airport in Fairfield.

Over the years he has owned several single engine airplanes, and has logged 2,900 total flying hours; 245 of those hours have been during the last three years while flying his experimental built Glastar, N12YR.

He is a member of the EAA (Experimental Aircraft Association); the local EAA Chapter 194 (Butler County Regional Airport); and a member and past President (1998) of the local EAA Chapter 174 (Cincinnati).

King has attended the EAA AirVenture Fly in at Oshkosh, Wisconsin, every year (missed one year due to bad weather) for the last 25 years. Next year, for the fourth time, he will be flying N12YR to Oshkosh, and as usual will be aircraft camping in the Homebuilders Camping Area.

The Wright Brothers “Master Pilot” Award is the most prestigious award the FAA issues to pilots certified under Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 61. This award is named after the Wright Brothers, the first US pilots, to recognize individuals who have exhibited professionalism, skill, and aviation expertise for at least 50 years while piloting aircraft as “Master Pilots.”

A distinctive certificate and lapel pin is issued after application review and eligibility requirements have been met. Upon request, a stickpin similar in design to the lapel pin is also provided to the award recipient’s spouse in recognition of his or her support to the recipient’s aviation career. Once the award has been issued, the recipient’s name, city and state will be added to a published “Roll of Honor” at

To be eligible for the Wright Brothers MPA, nominees must meet the following criteria:

•hold a U.S. Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) or FAA pilot certificate;

•have 50 or more years of civil and military flying experience;

•up to 20 years of the required 50 years may be U.S. military experience;

•the effective start date for the 50 years is the date of the nominee’s first solo flight or military equivalent;

•the 50 years may be computed consecutively or non-consecutively;

•be a U.S. citizen;

•have not had any airman certificate revoked.

- Source:

Zenith CH701, N56553: Fatal accident occurred November 06, 2015 near River Acres Airport (FD70), Okeechobee County, Florida

 John Bubel

The National Transportation Safety Board traveled to the scene of this accident.

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Orlando, Florida 

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

NTSB Identification: ERA16FA033 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, November 06, 2015 in Okeechobee, FL
Aircraft: ZENITH CH701, registration: N56553
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On November 6, 2015, about 1135 eastern standard time, an experimental, amateur-built, light-sport Zenith CH701 amphibian airplane, N56553, operated by a private individual, was destroyed when it impacted the ground in Okeechobee, Florida. The private pilot was fatally injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan had been filed for the flight that departed Homestead General Aviation Airport (X51), Homestead, Florida, destined for River Acres Airport (FD70), Okeechobee Florida. The personal flight was conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

According to Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) records, the airplane was issued a special airworthiness certificate in the experimental light-sport aircraft category on December 13, 2007. It was powered by a Rotax 912ULS, 100-horsepower engine, equipped with a three-blade Warp Drive composite propeller assembly.

According to the owner, the airplane was based at X51 and had not been flown since about the time of its last annual condition inspection, which was performed during November 2011. The pilot was flying the airplane to FD70 to facilitate a condition inspection. He was also going to perform some cosmetic repairs to the airplane and then list it for sale.

A private pilot, who witnessed the accident from about 1/4 mile south of the accident site, stated that he observed the airplane flying about 100 feet above the ground. It was "flying erratically, and "rocking back and forth." He then heard a loud "snap" sound, which was immediately followed by one or both wings folding up and back about 45 degrees. The airplane entered a steep, "60-degeee nose dive" and descended below his field of view. The witness added that he heard the engine during the entire accident sequence and did not note any power interruptions.

A second witness, who observed the accident from about 1/4 mile east of the accident site, stated that airplane was "tilting its wings," as if the pilot was acknowledging people on the ground below, when the right wing "folded up 90 degrees, like when you park airplanes on an aircraft carrier."

A third witness, who was working on a rooftop about 1/4 mile from the accident site, stated that he observed the airplane descending in about a 30-degree nose down angle and rolling right "wing over wing." The airplane completed four or five revolutions before he lost sight of it, and he then heard the sound of an impact.

The airplane impacted the ground in a residential area. All major portions of the airplane were accounted for at the accident site. The cockpit and cabin were consumed by a postcrash fire. The engine, both wings, and landing gear were severely fire damaged. Ground scars and debris were located on a heading of about 260 degrees. The airplane came to rest inverted. The fuselage and right wing came to rest about 39 feet from an initial ground scar. The left wing was separated; however, it was located next to the fuselage and extended to about 61 feet from the initial ground scar. It was noted that a windshield fragment that was about 18 inches by 11.5 inches was found on the ground, about 150 feet northeast of the initial ground scar.

The front center section wing attach bolt for both wings was present. The structure surrounding each respective bolt was absent. All portions of the airplane's wing struts were located. One or more portions of the struts contained bends, impact damage, fire damage, corrosion, and/or separations; however, all their respective attachment bolts and nuts were in place and secure. Initial examination of the engine did not reveal any preimpact mechanical malfunctions. The airplane was retained for further examination. The wing struts were removed and forwarded to the NTSB Materials Laboratory, Washington, DC, for further examination.

A handheld global positioning system receiver was recovered from the accident site and forwarded to the NTSB Vehicle Recorder Laboratory, Washington, DC, for download.

The pilot reported 2,000 hours of total flight experience on his most recent application for an FAA third-class medical certificate, which was issued on June 2, 2006.

OKEECHOBEE COUNTY, Fla. -- Investigators with the FAA and NTSB are continuing to investigate what caused a plane to crash in Okeechobee Friday morning.

The pilot, 62-year-old John Bubel, was killed in the crash. No other passengers were on board.

Investigators say Bubel picked up the Zenith CH701 plane in Homestead Friday and was flying it back to his home in Okeechobee.

His neighbor, Bryant Culpepper, says Bubel has decades of experience flying planes, teaching flight and working on planes.

"He was very, very careful. If a pilot was concerned about crashing they would never fly," Culpepper said.

Culpepper said Bubel mentioned to him that he was picking up the plane to fix up, and give back to the owner to sell.

Bubel has years of experience in painting planes and owns a dent repair business, according to Culpepper.

"He loved aircraft of all types. Being on here was his heaven before heaven."

The plane crashed in the Ousley Estates neighborhood. Witnesses say Bubel was able to avoid hitting homes and power lines, and likely trying to land in a pond about a hundred feet away from the crash site.

"When we looked up, it was maybe 30-feet off the ground. It hit the ground and caught on fire," said witness Joellen Rhoden.

Rhoden was among several people who rushed to the crash site and tried to help Bubel. Rhoden says he was several feet away from the plane and his clothing was on fire.

She and another woman tried to save him. "She pulled him across the street while I was hollering for my husband to come own there. She started doing CPR and we switched off doing CPR," Rhoden said.

One of his former students also rushed in to help.  "His clothes were on fire, we got him out of the plane and I gave him CPR," said Dan Boggs.

Boggs says Bubel was a meticulous teacher, an expert in the industry and well respected by many.

He was also a mason and spent many hours giving back and volunteering in the community.

But above all, Culpepper says Bubel was a family man. He leaves behind three children, grandchildren and his wife.

"John has the most incredible family… They're the kind of family that will pull together to get through this," Culpepper said.

Culpepper, also an Okeechobee County Commissioner, says there are plans in the works to create a memorial for Bubel at the county boat ramps.

- Source: