Famous People Who Died in Aviation Accidents

Images may be subject to copyright 
Learn More

Date/Time Name / Group Age Notability Accident 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. Both aboard killed.  
Jan 31, 2000
Cynthia Oti

Dean Forshee

Jean Gandesberry

Tom Stockley



Radio financial talk-show host


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.  
Feb 8, 2000
Robert "Bob" Collins
57 Radio talk show host for WGN, Chicago Zion, Illinois Zlin Z-242L acrobatic plane
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. PHOTO
Mar 9, 2000
c 08:45
Artyom Borovik
39 Russian journalist Moscow, Russia Vologodskiye Airlines
Yakovlev 40
Climbed to 150 ft., lost control and crashed during takeoff.  All 9 aboard killed. PHOTO
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.  Three of 12 aboard killed.  
Jul 2, 2000 Salvator Socrates

66 Philippine Governor 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. PHOTO
Jan 27, 2001
Members of the Oklahoma State University basketball team   Sports 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. PHOTO
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. Fourteen of 30 aboard killed.  
May 22, 2001
Dr. Patricia Hilliard Robertson
38 Astronaut Manvel, Texas Wittman Tailwind W8 experimental
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. PHOTO
Aug 25, 2001
Aaliyah Haughton
22 American 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. PHOTO
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

Carolyn Beug

Berry Berenson

Garnet "Ace" Bailey

Mark Bavis

Barbara Olson






Creator and executive producer of TV show "Frasier"

American video producer and director

actress and photographer

Former Boston Bruins hockey player.  Scout for
the LA. Kings.

American ice hockey player for the South Carolina Stingrays

CNN/Fox commentator
New York, New York

Arlington, Virginia

American Airlines
Boeing B-767
Flight 11

United Airlines
Flight 175
Boeing B-767

American Airlines
Flight 77
Boeing B-757
The plane was hijacked by terrorists and deliberately crashed into the north and tower of the World Trade Center as well as the Pentagon. PHOTO
Nov 24, 2001
Melanie Thornton

Maria Serano Serano

Nathaly van het Ende


American pop singer

Both 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. PHOTO
Jun1, 2002
Hansie Cronje 32 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.

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
  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. PHOTO
Oct 31, 2002
Lionel Poilâne
57 French baker. President of the French helicopter association Bay of Cancale, Brittany, France Helicopter
AgustaWestland AW109
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
William McCool Michael Anderson Kalpana Chawla David Brown
Laurel Clark IIlan Ramon

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. PHOTO
Jun 06, 2003
Jesica Kaplan
24 American screenwriter Los Angeles, California Beechcraft Bonanza
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.  
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.  
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.  
Mar 1, 2004
Toni Onley
75 Canadian artist Maple Ridge, Canada LA-4-200 Buccaneer
The floatplane Onley was piloting crashed into Fraser River while he was practicing takeoffs and landings.  
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. PHOTO
Apr 30, 2004
Ian Groom
56 American 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.  
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.  
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
Crashed on takeoff after the engine failed.  
Oct 24, 2004 Joseph "Ricky" Hendrick IV
24 American 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 Walmart 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. PHOTO
Jul 11, 2005 Jimmy Franklin and

Bobby Younkin


Air show pilots Moosejaw, Sasjacthewan Waco, 1940 Pitts Midair collision between the two flyers during an air show.  
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 American 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.  
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.  
Mar 13, 2006
Peter Tomarken
63 Former game show host (Press Your Luck) Off Santa Monica, California Bonanza A-36
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. Two killed including Tomarken's wife.  
Apr 19, 2006

Scott Crossfield
84 Test pilot, aviator, aircraft designer Near Ellijay, Georgia Cessna 210A
Crashed in mountains about 60 miles Northwest of Atlanta, Georgia. Flew into a level 6 thunderstorm. Plane broke up.  
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).  
Sep 15, 2006 Pablo Santos
19 Mexican actor Toluca, Mexico Piper Malibu The plane he was flying cashed over a mile short of the runway while attempting to land. PHOTO
Oct 11, 2006
Corey Lidle
34 Baseball player. New York Yankee pitcher New York, NY Cirrus SR-20
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. PHOTO
Jul 28, 2007
Jim Leroy
46 American aerobatic pilot Dayton, OH Bulldog Pitts 02
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.  
Sep 3, 2007
Steve Fossett
63 American 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. PHOTO
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. Four killed.  
Mar 30, 2008
Richard Lloyd

David Leslie

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.  
Jun 1, 2009 Silvio Barbato 50 Brazilian opera conductor and composer   Air France
Flight 447
Airbus 330
Pilot error after the aircraft entere an area of turbulence. All 228 abpard killed.  
Sep 11, 2009
William "Skipper" Beck
49 Businessman and co-owner of the Charlette Bobcats / Charlette Hornets Rock Hill, South Carolina Cirrus SR-22
After departing Rock Hill Airport the plane attempted to return but nosedived into the taxiway.  

Return to Famous Index

Copyright ©1997-2023 PlaneCrashInfo.com