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Pilot who died in Cross Lake plane crash had survived a house explosion in Colorado in 2019

Fatal flight was at least the fourth time this month that the aircraft took off from Shreveport Regional, aviation records show
The 2017 John M. Corneal Subsonex that crashed into Cross Lake in Shreveport, La., on May 23,...
The 2017 John M. Corneal Subsonex that crashed into Cross Lake in Shreveport, La., on May 23, 2021, is owned by Pocket Jet LLC, a corporation that lists its address in the 300 block of Marshall Street in Shreveport, federal aviation records show. Killed in the crash of the one-seat aircraft was Fred L. Phillips, manager of Pocket Jet LLC.(Source: FlightAware.com)
Updated: May. 23, 2021 at 11:00 PM CDT
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SHREVEPORT, La. (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 FlightAware.com, 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.

FlightAware.com 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 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 CBS affiliate in Denver interviewed Phillips in October 2020.

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.

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