Sunday, May 23, 2021

SubSonex JSX-2, N465JC: Fatal accident occurred May 23, 2021 in Shreveport, Louisiana

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.

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

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Baton Rouge, Louisiana 
Pocket Jet LLC

Location: Shreveport, LA 
Accident Number: CEN21FA230
Date & Time: May 23, 2021, 14:47 Local
Registration: N465JC
Aircraft: John M Corneal Sub-Sonex 
Injuries: 1 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal

On May 23, 2021 about 1447 central daylight time (CDT), a Sub-Sonex JSX-2 experimental amateur built jet airplane, N465JC, was destroyed when it impacted a small recreational lake (Cross Lake) near Shreveport, Louisiana. The pilot sustained fatal injuries. The personal flight was being conducted under the provisions of Title 14 Federal Code of Regulations Part 91.

The intent of the flight was to fly over Cross Lake after departing Shreveport Regional Airport (SHV). Automatic Dependent Surveillance Broadcast (ADS-B) track data indicated the airplane departed runway (RWY) 24 at SHV, about 1439:00. The airplane made a right turn to the northeast and proceeded to fly over Cross Lake. The ADS-B track data showed the airplane maneuvering low-level over the lake until track data was lost at about 1446:14. 

The last track data showed the airplane at 625 ft MSL, 142 knots ground speed, heading 100 degrees over Cross Lake. Several witnesses described the airplane’s low-level flight over the lake, and their observations were consistent with the ADS-B data. One witness saw the airplane flying inverted. He saw the airplane nose down and impact the water in a near vertical attitude. There were no radio or distress calls heard from the pilot.

Examination of the wreckage did not show any pre-impact anomalies with the flight controls or control surfaces. A ballistic recovery system (BRS) was installed. The BRS cockpit deployment lever was found in the stowed position. The airplane was equipped with a Garmin GX3, and the unit was retained for download. The engine had a full authority digital engine control (FADEC) installed. The FADEC unit
was retained for download.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: John M Corneal 
Registration: N465JC
Model/Series: Sub-Sonex JSX-2 
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: Yes
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None
Operator Designator Code:

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: VMC
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KSHV,259 ft msl
Observation Time: 14:56 Local
Distance from Accident Site: 4 Nautical Miles 
Temperature/Dew Point: 29°C /17°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Scattered / 4400 ft AGL
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 5 knots / , 120°
Lowest Ceiling: Broken / 18000 ft AGL
Visibility: 10 miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.15 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Shreveport, LA (SHV)
Destination: Shreveport, LA

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal 
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Passenger Injuries:
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: 
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Fatal
Latitude, Longitude: 32.500874,-93.858316 (est)

Those who may have information that might be relevant to the National Transportation Safety Board investigation may contact them by email, and any friends and family who want to contact investigators about the accident should email

Fred Leonard Phillips
June 16, 1947 - May 23, 2021

Fred Leonard Phillips, 73, passed away unexpectedly on May 23, 2021. Fred was an avid pilot and passed away doing what he loved.

Fred was born June 16, 1947. He was well known throughout the community for his service, philanthropy, and kind heart. Fred was always there to lend a helping hand to anyone in need. He had a smile and warmth that lit up any room. His love for others radiated and to know him was to love him. He cared deeply about his community in Shreveport and Pagosa Springs, Colorado. Fred lived an incredible life filled with adventure, excitement, compassion, and generosity. His zeal for knowledge began at a young age, and he received a BS degree from the University of Colorado in 1969 and an MBA degree from Tulane University in 1972. While Fred dedicated his life to and was a pillar of the oil and gas industry as the President and CEO of Phillips Energy, Aviation was his true passion. He learned to fly at age nineteen, so he was a pilot for fifty-five years and loved every second of it. Most days of the week you would find him at the hangar or soaring in the skies. He recently received the Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award for 50 years of flying from the Federal Aviation Administration. He had a fighter mentality and has overcome such tremendous hurdles in his life. He was known for his originality and he excelled living near the edge. He was an accomplished race-car driver, having competed world-wide including the 24 hours of Daytona. In 1974, he was invited to Germany to compete in the Kimberly Cup. Fred enjoyed skydiving and had made over 3500 jumps. Some of his other hobbies and passions include motorcycling, bicycling, and collecting watches and cars. 

His children and grandchildren were his true pride and joy. He loved sitting on his back porch, watching the sunset surrounded by those he loved. Fred had finally reached a point in life where he was able to slow down and cherish every moment greatly. 

Over the years, Fred has been a Board Member for many civic and business organizations. He was currently a Board Member of Aeropres Corporation, American Red Cross Northwest Louisiana Chapter, Southfield School Foundation, and The Betty and Leonard Phillips Deaf Action Center. Fred was also a Tiffany Circle Recipient for his level of giving to the American Red Cross. He was a sponsor and big supporter of the KTBS Freedom Fest. Additionally, Fred was the Vice President of the Betty and Leonard Phillips Foundation, where he continued his family’s philanthropic legacy. Since his accident in 2019 he had turned his focus to burn advocacy and trauma awareness through The Electra Churchill Foundation. 

Fred is preceded in death by his parents, Betty and Leonard Phillips and the love of his life, Electra Churchill. He is survived by his children and grandchildren who were the absolute light of his life: Christopher Phillips and his children Betty, Pierson, and Anderson; Cassidy and Carin Phillips and their children Sklar and Pace; Collin Phillips; Dr. Sue Phillips Grisham and Marcus Grisham and their children Phillips, Preston, and Paxton; and Dr. Alexa Phillips; his sister and brother-in-law Sandi and Jeffrey Kallenberg and their children Kimberly and Brad Schlosser; Gregory and Heidi Kallenberg; and Randolph and Tina Kallenberg and all of their beloved children. He is also survived by countless close friends. While this loss is a tragedy to the family, the community, and every heart that Fred has touched, there is peace knowing that he was doing what he loved and is reunited with his true love. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to The Betty and Leonard Phillips Deaf Action Center, The Electra Churchill Foundation, The American Red Cross Northwest Louisiana Chapter or the  B’nai Zion Congregation. 

The family will be at B’nai Zion Congregation on Thursday May 27, 2021 to receive friends and family at 2:30 pm and services will begin at 4:00 pm with Rabbi Dr. Jana L. De Benedetti officiating. A celebration of life will follow at The Petroleum Club of Shreveport from 5:30-8:30 pm. The Honorary Pallbearers will be Stacy Anderson Mijalis, Stafford Comegys, Danny Coy, John David Crow, David Myatt, Jon Q-Petersen, Edwin Sour, and Scott Stroud.

Flight Path

SHREVEPORT, Louisiana - An experimental aircraft crashed into Cross Lake this afternoon killing its sole occupant.

Several witnesses to the crash called 911 around 2:47 Sunday afternoon and reported seeing the Sonex SubSonex JSX-2 go down. The Shreveport police and fire departments rushed to the scene and dispatched divers into the water. At approximately 3:31 p.m. SFD divers located the aircraft wreckage submerged in the water on the south side of the lake near Risinger Drive. The pilot, who was identified by Caddo Coroner Todd Thoma as Fred L. Phillips, was still in the aircraft.

The Caddo Sheriff's Office along with its Marine Unit responded and coordinated the removal of the wreckage. Caddo Parish Sheriff Steve Prator, who also responded to the crash scene, said SFD divers secured the plane as it was lifted from the crash site and Phillips' body was recovered. Hammerhead Construction provided a barge to push the plane to the boat launch on South Lakeshore Drive. The plane will be stored at Shreveport Regional Airport for National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) investigators. 

According to Sheriff's Capt. John May, the plane took off from Shreveport Regional Airport at 2:36 p.m. and was in the air approximately nine minutes. The plane is described as an experimental aircraft with one seat. 

Agencies who were notified or assisted in the recovery and investigation include the Caddo Parish Sheriff's Office, Shreveport police and fire departments, Louisiana Department of  Wildlife and Fisheries, Louisiana State Police, NTSB, FAA, Shreveport Regional Airport, DEQ, and the Caddo Parish Coroner's Office. Equipment and assistance was also provided by Shreveport businessmen John Harris and Mike Cavanaugh.

Phillips was CEO of Phillips Energy. He was critically injured in a 2019 explosion at a house he owned in Colorado. A woman was killed in that blast.


SHREVEPORT, Louisiana   (KSLA) — The fatal crash of an experimental aircraft Sunday occurred on at least its fourth flight this month.

The fixed-wing plane that crashed into Cross Lake, killing its pilot, took off from Shreveport Regional Airport at 2:36 p.m. Sunday, Caddo sheriff’s Capt. John May said.

The single-engine, one-seat aircraft was in the air for about nine minutes, he added.

Aviation records show it was at least the fourth time this month that the plane took off from Shreveport Regional.

According to the website, the aircraft took:

a 10-minute flight at 2:23 p.m. May 9,
a nine-minute flight at 3:16 p.m. May 13, and,
a flight of unknown length at 2:35 p.m. May 16. also shows that the aircraft took off at 2:39 p.m. Sunday and last was seen at 2:46 p.m. the same date.

Federal aviation records show the 2017 John M. Corneal SubSonex JSX-2 is owned by Pocket Jet LLC, a corporation that lists its address in the 300 block of Marshall Street in Shreveport.

That’s the same address as Phillips Energy.

And the Caddo coroner’s office has identified Fred L. Phillips, manager of Pocket Jet LLC, as the pilot who died in the crash Sunday.

He’s the Phillips Energy CEO who was critically burned in the gas-fed explosion of a house he owned in Colorado that claimed the life of the woman he shared his life with for 25 years.

A relative by marriage who got a call about Phillips on Sunday also confirmed that he’s the same person who survived that explosion in 2019.

The Phillips Energy website says Phillips was an avid aviation enthusiast and an accomplished pilot with more than 18,000 hours as pilot in command. He owned and operated Petrolift Aviation Services Inc., an aircraft charter company, and Movie Choppers of Louisiana LLC, a helicopter charter company.

His other interests included skydiving, cycling and motorcycling.

That website goes on to say that the father of five served as a board member for multiple civic and business organizations, including Aeropres Corp., the Northwest Louisiana chapter of the American Red Cross, the Southfield School Foundation board, the Betty and Leonard Phillips Deaf Action Center and several family-owned entities. Phillips also was vice president of the Leonard W. & Betty Phillips Foundation.

October 2019
Fred Phillips is pictured with longtime partner Electra Churchill.  Phillips is in stable condition after an explosion at his Colorado home while Churchill was killed in the blast.  

October 2019 -- 

Oil man and community leader Fred Phillips, 72, is in stable condition in Denver's Swedish Medical Center Burn Unit a week after he was in an explosion in Colorado.

"He was burned on his arms and his legs. He is in stable condition," said Phillips' sister, Sandi Kallenberg, in an interview Monday about the "tragic, tragic accident."

"He will probably be in the Burn Unit three months. Although he will have ups and downs, we are optimistic about his condition," said Kallenberg.

Electra Churchill, Phillips' partner of 24 years, was killed in the blast.

Phillips is president and CEO of Phillips Energy Inc.

He is chairman of Betty and Leonard Phillips Deaf Action Center, named for his parents who started the agency, and chairman of the $250-a-person, every-other-year DAC Las Vegas Night. The fundraiser is December 14 at the Petroleum Club.

 "Proceeds from this year’s event will continue the Center’s services to over 18,000 deaf and hard of hearing people and their families in northwest Louisiana," said DAC Executive Director David Hylan.

"Fred is devoted to DAC as board and Las Vegas Night Chairman, and was very excited about Las Vegas Night. The day before the accident, he was working on getting sponsors," said Kallenberg.

"He was thrilled that we are in a newer, larger space which will hold over 300," said Hylan, about the Petroleum Club. "And he liked the decorations being planned, the auction items being sourced."

Kallenberg also pointed out that her brother is strong, an athlete who rode his bicycle 16 miles a day, giving him strength to fight for his health.

The Durango (Colorado) Herald reported Phillips was pulled from the perimeter of the burning structure after the Oct. 11 blast at a subdivision in Archuleta County. Churchill, 45, of Shreveport, was found dead in the debris on Oct. 12.

“It was a terrible tragedy,” Archuleta County coroner Brandon Bishop said when making the announcement.

Undersheriff Derek Woodman says Phillips suffered "severe burns and other related trauma.'' Investigators have not said what caused the blast, but Woodman says foul play is not suspected.

According to county records, Phillips bought the property in 2007 for $1 million.

(credit: Fred Phillips)
October  2019 

ENGLEWOOD, Colorado (CBS4) – It has been nearly a year since a man was critically burned in a propane explosion just outside Pagosa Springs in Archuleta County. Thanks to the care he received at Swedish Medical Center, that man has recovered physically with few limitations.

But Fred Phillips told Health Specialist Kathy Walsh he will never get over losing his loving partner who was killed in the inferno.

“I write her a letter every night,” said Fred.

That is how the 73-year-old stays connected to Electra Churchill, the woman he shared his life with for 25 years.

On October 11, 2019, the couple from Louisiana traveled to Colorado to catch the changing aspens. They were in the guest house on their property in Pagosa Springs.

“I turned the projector on and the next thing I know was a tremendous explosion,” Fred explained. “I was digging and fighting my way out of there. That’s all I remember.”

Bystanders pulled Fred out. He was told he tried to go back.

“… and get Electra,” said an emotional Fred.

But Electra was trapped and died. Fred was flown to Swedish Medical Center.

“He had full thickness burns to about 50% of his body,” said Dr. Benson Pulikkottil, Medical Director of Burn and Reconstructive Centers of America at Swedish.

Pulikkottil and his wife, Dr. Lily Daniali, both plastic surgeons, treated Fred with skin grafts and a solution of spray-on skin cells made from a sample of Fred’s healthy skin.

“Those then grow and will cover and make new skin,” said Dr. Daniali with Burn and Reconstructive Centers of America at Swedish.

Fred left Swedish after 46 days.

“This is a guy that’s flying planes, he’s working out, he’s doing all the stuff he was doing before his injury,” said Pulikkottil.

Fred credits the hospital staff and his family for his physical healing.

Emotionally, he aches because he lived and Electra didn’t.

“I have flashbacks of her ordeal,” said Fred. “I don’t think I’ll ever get over it.”

Fred is now an advocate for burn survivors and he is pushing for stronger warning signs of gas leaks.

“I would say your eyes should start burning,” said Fred. “It should be so terrible that you turn around and walk out.”

Fred cannot change what happened to him, but he hopes he can keep prevent someone else from suffering.

1 comment:

  1. Flight history appears to show a couple of minutes of a high-speed pass over the lake but descending to impact at about 176 mph. Constant speed would not indicate any issues with the Subsonex. Maybe inattention, show-boating, or depression? Someone should have a video of this crash. Lots of witnesses. RIP.