|Birth: ||Apr. 4, 1944, USA|
|Death: ||Jun. 17, 1990|
OC Air Show Director Killed In Fiery Crash
Tulsa World - Monday, June 18, 1990
OKLAHOMA CITY - Air show director TomJones , whose efforts brought Soviet military jets to Aerospace America '90 for a rare American performance, died when his stunt plane crashed at the air show here Sunday afternoon.
"When it hit, it just exploded," said witness Kevin Ellis, one of thousands who saw the crash at Will Rogers World Airport. "No matter how fast the trucks got there, he was dead. It was just a ball of fire."
Air show chairman Ted Strenczek, in a brief statement after the 1:45 p.m. accident, said the former national champion aerobatic pilot died on impact. The remainder of the air show was canceled after the crash.
Jones , 44, was a member of the 1988-89 world champion aerobatic team, and was the national aerobatic champion in 1988, air show spokesman Mark House said. His crash came just before the world's biggest cargo jet, a Soviet Antonov-225 brought to the air show through Jones ' lobbying, was to perform for the first time ever in the United States.
Jones ' plane, a Soviet-made, civilian Sukhoi-26 stunt plane, never regained power after the pilot intentionally flipped his plane over after a straight-up stall.
Observers said the plane trailed a different color of smoke than the pure white show smoke just before it crashed.
The air show announcer said, "OK, Tom , OK, looking good - you can pull up," and the plane hit the ground nose first about 100 yards from the crowd.
"It didn't even come out of the stall," said Ranee Woodall of Oklahoma City. "I didn't hear his engine."
No injuries were reported in the crowd, estimated at 75,000.
Emergency workers and Federal Aviation Administration officials were at the crash site within minutes.
Jones ' widow stood weeping on the tarmac.
Air show officials said U.S. jets planned a military salute to the air show director Sunday afternoon.
The air show featured two Soviet Sukhoi-Su 27 Flanker fighter jets and the cargo plane, in only their second appearance in the United States. The cargo plane was on display, but didn't fly, during an Oshkosh, Wis., air show last year.
Jones flew to Moscow twice to convince the Soviets to bring the planes to the air show.
He recently purchased the civilian Soviet stunt plane in which he crashed.
Caption: PHOTO AP Laserphoto
Officials watch the burning wreckage of an air show crash Sunday that killed pilotTomJones at Will Rogers World Airport. Jones , the air show's director, was performing when his plane hit the ground.
(bio by: GenealogySlueth)
Resthaven Gardens Cemetery
Oklahoma City (Cleveland County)
Created by: sonya s
Record added: Mar 06, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 66574683
This is to tell you that you are still missed and loved everyday. You left us doing what you loved. I will always treasure the gift of you in my life. Rest in Peace Sweetie...|
Added: Mar. 16, 2014
I was there on that day, now twenty- three years ago to the day, not fifteen feet from the front of the flight line, and it was only by sheer coincidence that I stumbled upon Tom's Find-A-Grave memorial today---must truly have been fate.RIP, Tom, my praye...(Read more)|
Added: Jun. 17, 2013
I watched you that day doing what you loved to do. Thank you for being so nice to my sister and me. Then we were just little girls. Bless you Tom jones.|
Added: Apr. 27, 2013