Man, 52, killed in Olive Branch ultralight aircraft crash - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Man, 52, killed in Olive Branch ultralight aircraft crash

By Jason Miles - bio | email | Twitter | Facebook

OLIVE BRANCH, MS (WMC-TV) - A 52-year-old man was killed Friday afternoon when his ultralight aircraft crashed in a soybean field near Olive Branch.

Butch Bassie of Byhalia, Mississippi, died on impact when the aircraft went down near State Line Road and Center Hill Road, just south of the Mississippi state line.

"We have one witness who says that he was up in the air flying," said DeSoto County Sheriff's Dept. Chief Deputy Frank Rainey. "The plane started spiraling out of control toward the ground and crashed."

Bassie belonged to a group of ultralight flight enthusiasts who keep their aircraft at an airstrip adjacent to the field where Bassie crashed.
         
Fellow pilot Marvin Shackelford said Bassie, whom he flew alongside several months ago, "never made a bad landing."

He said Bassie was coming in for a landing Friday when something went wrong.

"I don't know a lot about his flying experience, but he was in the military overseas and did a lot of good stuff," said Shackelford.
    
He says the joy of flying an aircraft that weighs about 200 pounds outweighs the risk. But, like a real plane, the potential for danger is always there.
    
"It's risky, you know. But people get killed going across the street," he said.
    
Since ultralight aircraft are not regulated by the FAA, the sheriff's department will work to determine what caused the accident.
    
Friends told Action News 5 that Bassie's wife is expecting a child next month. They said she was taken to a hospital as a precaution Friday after she suffered an anxiety attack at the crash site.

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