An experimental aircraft crashed into Cross Lake this afternoon killing its sole occupant, said Caddo Sheriff Steve Prator.
Several witnesses to the crash called 911 around 2:47 this afternoon and reported seeing the fixed wing single engine craft go down. The Shreveport police and fire departments rushed to the scene and dispatched divers into the water. At approximately 3:31 p.m. SFD divers located the aircraft wreckage submerged in the water on the south side of the lake near Risinger Drive. The pilot, who was identified by Caddo Coroner Todd Thoma as Fred L. Phillips, was still in the aircraft.
The Caddo Sheriff's Office along with its Marine Unit responded and coordinated the removal of the wreckage. Prator, who also responded to the crash scene, said SFD divers secured the plane as it was lifted from the crash site and Phillips' body was recovered. Hammerhead Construction provided a barge to lift the plane and push it to the boat launch on South Lakeshore Drive. The plane will be stored at Shreveport Regional Airport for National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) investigators.
According to Sheriff's Capt. John May, the plane took off from Shreveport Regional Airport at 2:36 p.m. and was in the air approximately nine minutes. The plane is described as an experimental aircraft with one seat.
Agencies who were notified or assisted in the recovery and investigation include the Caddo Parish Sheriff's Office, Shreveport police and fire departments, Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, Louisiana State Police, NTSB, FAA, Shreveport Regional Airport, DEQ, and the Caddo Parish Coroner's Office. Equipment and assistance was also provided by Shreveport businessmen John Harris and Mike Cavanaugh.
For questions regarding this press release, please contact Cindy Chadwick at (318) 681-0666