Friends remember victim of ultralight crash - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Friends remember victim of ultralight crash

Posted: Updated:
Near Mineola-Wisener Field Airport in Wood County (Source: KMOO) Near Mineola-Wisener Field Airport in Wood County (Source: KMOO)
MINEOLA, TX (KLTV) -

Emergency crews responded to an aircraft crash Thursday morning in Wood County.

According to the Wood County Sheriff's Office, 49-year-old Dwyatt "Dee" Wayne Hawkins of White Oak was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash after his ultralight aircraft went down just west of Mineola-Wisener Field Airport around 8:30 a.m.

Friends of Dwyatt say they were surprised to hear he had crashed.

"He's had exposure to this type of aircraft. He's flown ultralights for a number of years," said Robert Wisener, friend of Hawkins and assistant manager at Mineola Wisener Field Airport. "I'm aware of him for more than 10 years having access to similar types of planes that he had."

A witness at the scene of the crash, who has asked not to be identified at this time, say that he saw the ultralight take off and crash. The witness said the ultralight was headed south on takeoff, then veered right. He seemed to get control of the aircraft, but then descended again. The pilot then increased throttle, according to the witness, and climbed about forty feet, banked sharply to the right and hit a tree with the right wing. When the wing hit the tree, it sent the ultralight spinning out of sight behind trees. The witness said he then heard a loud crash.

"You have less protection than some other aircraft. It's similar to riding a motorcycle and more exposed," said Wisener. "There were propellers that looked like they had been under power when then impact happened."

The witness said he drove over to the area where the ultralight went down, jumped over a fence, and found the pilot. He  said the pilot was unconscious and not breathing, and that his back and helmet were on fire.

The man pulled the pilot from the wreckage, took his helmet off of him and rolled him to put out the flames, he said. He attempted CPR and called 911 for help.

The witness said he feels that the parachute system that was on the ultralight would not have helped at the low altitude the pilot had reached.

"You have to have more altitude for them to be effective," said Wisener. "My understanding is it wasn't deployed. It was more than likely inadvertently deployed on impact."

Wisener explained the risk of flying, but Hawkins passion for his hobby.

"It's the chance you take in anything you do," said Wisener."I know he was enthusiastic in this type of flying. He was passionate especially about this type of flying."
     
Wisener says, he will be missed.

"I don't like to say goodbye to people that you like. It is a sad, sad occurrence," said Wisener.

Judge Wes Riddle pronounced the pilot dead at the scene.

Wisener says this is the first fatality recorded at Mineola-Wisener Field Airport.

Copyright 2013 KLTV. All rights reserved.

  • East Texas NewsMore>>

  • Puppies found in hot car, up for adoption

    Puppies found in hot car, up for adoption

    Thursday, July 31 2014 8:36 PM EDT2014-08-01 00:36:40 GMT
    The six pit bull puppies found in a hot car on Monday will soon be put up for adoption.More >>
    The six pit bull puppies found in a hot car on Monday will soon be put up for adoption.More >>
  • Hudson couple builds family home out of Styrofoam

    Hudson couple builds family home out of Styrofoam

    Thursday, July 31 2014 8:10 PM EDT2014-08-01 00:10:51 GMT
    The start of the Cockrell's family home The start of the Cockrell's family home
    A Hudson couple is taking a unique spin on home building by using an environmentally friendly method to build their family home.More >>
    A Hudson couple is taking a unique spin on home building by using an environmentally friendly method to build their family home.More >>
  • Texas man's life celebrated in Lufkin Mural

    Texas man's life celebrated in Lufkin Mural

    Thursday, July 31 2014 7:49 PM EDT2014-07-31 23:49:08 GMT
    Source: KTRE StaffSource: KTRE Staff
    Durell Gray is one of a few people whose picture graces a wall in downtown Lufkin. His picture sits at the corner of Frank and First Street.So how did the now 86-year-old man get his picture painted on a wall scene by hundreds every day? It all started while Gray worked as a lineman for the Lufkin Conroe Telephone Company. He said one day he received a letter in the mail from his employer asking for his help."They contacted us asking us if any lineman had picture with their gear on," Gray sai...More >>
    Durell Gray is one of a few people whose picture graces a wall in downtown Lufkin. His picture sits at the corner of Frank and First Street.So how did the now 86-year-old man get his picture painted on a wall scene by hundreds every day? It all started while Gray worked as a lineman for the Lufkin Conroe Telephone Company. He said one day he received a letter in the mail from his employer asking for his help."They contacted us asking us if any lineman had picture with their gear on," Gray sai...More >>
Powered by WorldNow
KTRE logo

KTRE

358 TV Road,
Pollok TX 75969

FCC Public File
publicfile@ktre.com
936-853-8639
EEO Report
Closed Captioning

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Worldnow and KTRE. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.