Famous People Who Died in Aviation Accidents

Date/Time Person Location Aircraft Details Notes
Jan 8, 2000
Joe Dan Petty
52, Allman Brothers guitar tech and former member of Grinderswitch
Macon, Georgia Beech 23
The plane collided with trees and burst into flames after the engine failed on climbout. Loss of engine power for undetermined reasons. 2 killed.  
Jan 31, 2000
Cynthia Oti
radio financial talk-show host
Dean Forshee
Jean Gandesberry
Tom Stockley
Off Point Mugu, California Alaska Airlines
Flight 261
Crashed into the ocean after the crew radioed they were having trouble with a jammed stabilizer. All 88 aboard killed. details in database
Feb 8, 2000
Robert "Bob" Collins
57, radio talk show host for WGN, Chicago
Zion, Illinois Zlin Z-242L acrobatic plane
N5ZA cn:0695
Collin's plane, which he was piloting, collided with a Cessna 172 while attempting to land.  Both planes then nose-dived and crashed. A total of 3 killed aboard both planes. An air traffic controller failed to properly separate the two planes.  
Feb 14, 2000
Tony Lee Bettenhausen
48, CART Indycar
racing team owner
Leesburg, Kentucky Beech Baron 58
While flying from Blountville Tenn. to Indianapolis, Bettenhausen reported ice on the wings and soon after lost control and spiraled into the ground. Failure of the pilot to maintain airspeed during a climb, initiated because of ice formation, which resulted in a loss of aircraft control. All 4 aboard including Bettenhausen's wife were killed.
Mar 9, 2000
c 08:45
Artyom Borovik
Russian journalist
Moscow, Russia Vologodskiye Airlines
Yakovlev 40
Climbed to 150 ft., lost control and crashed during takeoff.  All 9 aboard killed.  
Apr 16, 2000 Bishop Thomas Lobsinger
72, missionary
Near Whitehorse, Yukon Territory Cessna 172 Piloted by Lobsinger, the aircraft crashed on Fox lake.  
Jun 2, 2000 Svyatoslav Fyodorov
72, Russian inventor who pioneered radial keratotomy surgery
Near Moscow, Russia Helicopter Mechanical failure. All 4 aboard killed.  
Jun 19, 2000 William "Bill" Papas
72, artist and journalist
Nipmo Lake, British Columbia de Havilland Beaver floatplane Crashed into a lake while taking off on a fishing trip.  Papas drowned while attempting to swim to shore in 40 degree  water.  3 of 12 aboard killed.  
Jul 2, 2000 Salvator Socrates
Philippine Governor
Santiago Madrid
Philippine Air Force general
Palawan, Philippines Fokker 50 GAF Nomad Crashed after the military aircraft experienced engine trouble and tried to return to the airport.  The pilot overshot the runway and crashed into the ocean.  General Santiago Madrid also killed.  All 12 aboard killed.   
Aug 4, 2000
Thomas Allgood Sr.
71, former Georgia State Senator
Augusta, Georgia Piper PA-46-350P Malibu Mirage
Collided with a utility pole, bus stop and brick wall while attempting to take off.  Overloaded.  All 3 aboard including Allgood's wife, killed.  
Oct 6, 2000
Charles B. Yates
61, former state Senator from New Jersey
Edgartown, Massachusetts Mitsubishi MU-2B-26A
Crashed while approaching the airport at Martha's Vineyard after receiving an altitude alert.  Yates was piloting the plane and his wife an 2 children were also killed.  All 4 aboard killed.  
Oct 12, 2000 Gary McPherson
37, Colorado state Rep.
 Kelowna, British Columbia Piper PA-24-250 Comanche
McPherson who was piloting the plane, was not able to gain altitude while taking off from a grass strip at a lodge and crashed into trees.  Flaps not extended. 3 of 4 aboard killed.  
Oct 16, 2000
Mel Carnahan
66, Governor of Missouri
Hillsboro, Missouri Cessna 335
Crashed into a densely wooded area in a high speed dive after reporting instrument problems.  All three aboard killed, including an campaign aide and the governor's son who was piloting the aircraft. details in
Jan 27, 2001
Members of the Oklahoma State University basketball team Byers, Colorado Beech King Air 200
The aircraft banked sharply to the right and crashed on a farm in light snow shortly after taking off from Jefferson County Airport. Two members and six staffers of the Oklahoma State University basketball team killed along with 2 others. details in
Apr 4, 2001 Ibrahim Shamsul-Din
Deputy Defense Minister of Sudan
Adar Yeil, Sudan Antonov AN-24 Crashed on takeoff during a sandstorm, killing Sudan's deputy defense minister and 13 high-ranking military officers. 14 out of 30 killed. details in
May 22, 2001
Dr. Patricia Hilliard Robertson
38, astronaut
Manvel, Texas Wittman Tailwind W8 experimental
N3GJ  cn:GR 1
Cartwheeled and crashed into trees as the pilot practiced takeoff and landing  maneuvers. Robertson died of her injuries 2 days after the accident. 1 killed.  
Jul 8, 2001
Capt. Rolim Adolfo Amaro
58, President and founder of the Brazilian airline TAM
Near Juan Peter Caballero, Paraguay Robinson R-44 helicopter
Lost power from a height of 2,000 ft. and crashed to the ground.  Amaro, was piloting the helicopter, was killed along with his secretary/girlfriend Patrícia dos Santos Silva.  2 killed.  
Jul 27,2001
Fernanda Vogel
20, Brazilian fashion model
Off Maresias, Brazil Augusta 109 helicopter
The helicopter ditched into the ocean while attempting to land at Maresias and although all four survived the ditching only the co-pilot and Vogel's boyfriend were able to swim ashore. Vogel and the pilot drowned. 2 killed.
Aug 25, 2001
Aaliyah Haughton
22, singer and actress
Marsh Harbour, Bahamas Cessna 402B
The aircraft crashed in flames past the end of the runway as the plane attempted to take off. Pilot had traces of alcohol and cocaine in his blood. All 9 aboard killed.
details in database
Aug 29, 2001
Graham "Shirley" Strachan
49, Australian television and rock star
Mt. Archer, near Kilcoy,  Queensland,  Australia Bell 47 helicopter Severe turbulence led to loss of control of the helicopter Strachan was piloting, causing it to crash into a rugged mountainside. 1 killed.  
Sep 11, 2001
David Angell
54, creator and executive producer of "Frasier"
Berry Berenson
53, actress and photographer
New York, New York American Airlines
Boeing B-767
Flight 11
The plane was hijacked by terrorists and deliberately crashed into the north tower of the World Trade Center.
details in database
Sep 11, 2001
Garnet "Ace" Bailey
53, former Boston Bruins hockey player.  Scout for
the LA. Kings.
New York, New York United Airlines
Flight 175
Boeing B-767
The plane was hijacked by terrorists and deliberately crashed into the south tower of the World Trade Center.

details in database
Sep 11, 2001
Barbara Olsen
46, CNN/Fox commentator
Arlington, Virginia American Airlines
Flight 77
Boeing B-757
The plane was hijacked by terrorists and deliberately crashed into the Pentagon.
details in database
Nov 24, 2001
Melanie Thornton
34, American pop singer
Maria Serano Serano
Nathaly van het Ende

both 27, members of the pop-music trio, Passion Fruit.
Birchwil, Switzerland
Flight 3597
Avro RJ100
The plane crashed while attempting to land in rain and snow , 5.5 miles from Zurich Airport.  24  of 33 aboard, killed.
details in database
Jun1, 2002
Hansie Cronje
32, former South African Cricket captain
George, South Africa Airquarius Aviation
Hawker Siddeley HS-748-372
Croje was the lone passenger aboard the private postal service plane when it crashed into mountains after a missed landing attempt in poor weather. Croje caught a lift on the plane after missing his scheduled SAA flight. Croje was banned from playing cricket after a bribery scandal in 2000.

details in database
Aug11, 2002
Galen Rowell
Barbara Rowell
Nature photographers
Bishop, California Aero Commander
The couple were returning from an Arctic trip when the plane crashed 2 miles from Bishop Airport. All 4 aboard killed.  
Oct 25, 2002
Paul Wellstone
54, Minnesota Senator
Eveleth, Minnesota King Air A100
Crashed 2 miles from Eveleth Municipal Airport while attempting to land in freezing rain and light snow. Wellstone, along with his wife, daughter and 3 staff members killed while campaigning.  Pilot error in flying the plane too slowly on the approach until it stalled. All 8 aboard killed. details in database
Oct 31, 2002
Lionel Poilâne
57, famous French baker President of the French helicopter association
Bay of Cancale, Brittany, France Helicopter
Agusta 109
The helicopter which Poilâne was flying crashed into the bay after fog rolled in affecting his visibility to land. He was on the way to his home on Ile des Rimains, His wife Irena was also killed. 2 killed.  
Nov 13, 2002
Henry Howard Taylor
70, satellite TV broadcasting pioneer
San Andreas, California Beechcraft Bonanza
The plane experienced engine failure while attempting to climb out after taking off. The aircraft went into a right turn and crashed into a bed of rocks in an otherwise grassy field. Two of 3 aboard killed.  
Feb 1, 2003
Rick Husband, 45
William McCool, 40 Michael Anderson, 42 Kalpana Chawla, 41 David Brown, 46
Laurel Clark, 41
IIlan Ramon, 47

Crew of the Space Shuttle Columbia
Over north central Texas Space Shuttle Columbia Disintegrated over north central Texas at 200,000 feet as it was approaching the Kennedy Space Center in Florida for a landing. All 7 astronauts aboard were killed.  
Jun 06, 2003
Jesica Kaplan
24, screenwriter
Los Angeles, California Beechcraft Bonanza
cn: EA-27
The plane nose-dived into a 15 unit apartment house shortly after taking off from Santa Monica Airport. All 4 aboard killed.  
Jul 30, 2003 Steve Hislop
41, British superbike motorcycle champion.
Hawick, Scotland Helicopter Crashed near a remote farmhouse. 1 killed.  
Dec 15, 2003
Steve Kaplan
43, musical director for Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune game shows.
Claremont, California Cessna 421C
Crashed into a house shortly after takeoff. Fatigue fracture of the right engine propeller. 1 killed.  
Feb 26, 2004
 Boris Trajkovski
47, president of Macedonia
Bitonja, Bosnia-Herzegovina Beechcraft Super King  Air 200
Crashed into mountains  while attempting to land in poor weather at Mostar. All 9 aboard killed. Pilot error. The two-man crew misinterpreted crucial flight data in stormy weather. details in database
Mar 1, 2004
Toni Onley
75, Canadian artist
Maple Ridge, Canada LA-4-200 Buccaneer
cn: 646
The floatplane Onley was piloting crashed into Fraser River while he was practicing takeoffs and landings. 1 killed.  
Apr 17, 2004
32, Indian actress and film star
Bangalore, India Cessna 180
The aircraft crashed into a field and burned after taking off from Jakkur Aerodome. 4 killed.
Apr 30, 2004
Ian Groom
56, acrobatic pilot
Fort Lauderdale, Florida Sukhoi SU-31
cn: 01-02
Crashed into the ocean while practicing spins for the Fort Lauderdale Air and Sea show. 1 killed.  
Sep 11, 2004
Patriarch Pedros VII of Alexandria
55, spiritual leader of orthodox Christians throughout Africa
Off Mount Athos, Greece CH47D Chinook helicopter Crashed into the Aegean Sea, 5.5 nautical miles off Halkidiki peninsula Killing the Patriarch and clergy members. All 17 aboard killed. details in database
Oct 1, 2004
Gertrude Dunn
 72, multi-sport athlete including playing for the All American Girls Professional Baseball League of the 50s
Avondale, Pennsylvania Piper PA-28-180
cn: 28-7405050
Crashed on takeoff after the engine failed. 1 killed.  
Oct 24, 2004 Joseph "Ricky" Hendrick IV
24, NASCAR race car driver
Stuart, Virginia Beech 200
Crashed into Bull Mountain due to pilot error in heavy fog. All 10 aboard killed.  
Jun 27, 2005
John Walton
58, billionaire and second son to Sam Walton founder of Wal-Mart
Jackson Hole, Wyoming CGS Hawk Arrow
Ultra Light
Crashed shortly after taking off from Jackson Hole Airport. Improper reinstallation of the rear locking collar on the elevator control torque tube, which loosened the elevator control cable tension. 1 killed.
Jul 11, 2005 Jimmy Franklin and Bobby Younkin
57, 49 Air show pilots
Moosejaw, Sasjacthewan Waco, 1940 Pitts Midair collision between the two flyers during an air show. 2 killed.  
Jul 30, 2005
Dr. John Garang
60, Vice President of Sudan.
Near New Kush, Sudan M1-172 helicopter Crashed into a mountain range in southern Sudan in poor weather and visibility. All 14 aboard killed.  
Oct 8, 2005
Art Vance
64, champion air racer
Near Monterey, Tennessee Grumman F6F-5 Hellcat
Crashed and burst into flames,  while attempting an emergency landing on a median of Interstate 40. 1 killed.  
Jan 6, 2006
Eric Anthony Beard
47, world famous stunt pilot
Burlington, Washington Piper PA 34-200T Seneca
Crashed in a wooded area while on approach  while on a routine flight for Airpac Airlines, a cargo carrier based in Seattle. 1 killed.  
Mar 13, 2006
Peter Tomarken
63, former game show host (Press Your Luck)
Off Santa Monica, California Bonanza A-36
cn: E-443
Crashed after experiencing engine trouble after taking off from Santa Monica Airport. An attempt to return to the airport failed and the plane crashed into Santa Monica Bay 200 yards offshore. Engine failure. Mechanic made an improper repair. 2 killed including Tomarken's wife.  
Apr 19, 2006

Scott Crossfield
84, famous test pilot, aviator, aircraft designer
Near Ellijay, Georgia Cessna 210A
cn: 21057579
Crashed in mountains about 60 miles Northwest of Atlanta, Georgia. Flew into a level 6 thunderstorm. Plane broke up. 1 killed.  
Sep 10, 2006

Gabor Varga
45, Swedish aerobatics champion
Off Valletta, Malta Yak-55 Collided with an Extra 200, piloted by Eddie Groggins, during an aerobatics meet (Aero GP). 1 killed  
Sep 15, 2006 Pablo Santos
19, actor
Toluca, Mexico Piper Malibu The plane he was flying cashed over a mile short of the runway while attempting to land. 1 killed.
Oct 11, 2006
Corey Lidle
34, New York Yankee pitcher
New York, NY Cirrus SR-20
cn: 1930
The small plane crashed into the 20th floor of a 50 story residential building in Manhattan shortly after sending a distress call. The pilot, who could not be determined, made too narrow of a turn in the flying corridor, stalled and lost control. 2 killed.
Jul 28, 2007
Jim Leroy
46, American aerobatic pilot
Dayton, OH Bulldog Pitts 02
cn: 1
LeRoy’s plane was performing a stunt at the Vectren Dayton Airshow when he hit the ground and slid about 300 yards and burst into flames. 1 killed.  
Sep 3, 2007
Steve Fossett
63, aviation adventurer
Mammoth Lakes, California Citabria Super Decathlon
Crashed into a granite cliff at 10,000 feet, seven miles from Mammoth Lakes. 1killed. PC Inadvertent encounter with downdrafts that exceeded the climb capability of the airplane.
Sep 16, 2007
Colin McRae
39, Scottish World Rally Championship driver
Lanark Scotland AS350B2 Squirrel Helicopter
Crashed in a thick wooded area on the grounds of his Lanark home. McRae was piloting the hellicopter. His 5 year-old son was also killed. 4 killed.  
Mar 30, 2008
Richard Lloyd
David Leslie
63, British race car drivers
London, England Cessna 500 Citation I Crashed into homes in a residental area of Farnborough shortly after taking off from Briggin Hill airport. All 5 aboard killed.  
Sep 11, 2009
William "Skipper" Beck
49, Businessman and co-owner of the Charlette Bobcats
Rock Hill, South Carolina Cirrus SR-22
After departing Rock Hill Airport the plane attempted to return but nosedived into the taxiway. 1 killed.  


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