Dad, Daughter Who Survived Fiery Air Mishap in 2007 Die in Plane Crash
A father and daughter who narrowly escaped a fiery air crash in 2007 died on Saturday when their latest experimental plane crashed near a Texas airport.
Elzie J. "Bud" Warren, 70, and, Phyllis Jean Ridings, 52, were headed to an air show in Temple when they saw smoke in the cockpit at 8:53 a.m., just a minute after taking off from the Monroe County Airport in Conroe, according to Erik Burse, a trooper with the Department of Public Safety.
Warren and Ridings requested an emergency landing, Burse said. "They tried to make it back to the runway, but crashed at 8:55 a.m.," he said.
The Ravin 500, built from a kit, crashed and exploded about half a mile north of the airport. The burning wreckage was in a heavily wooded area, and local firefighters and the Texas Forestry Service had to bulldoze a path, Burse said.
The father and daughter, members of the Experimental Aircraft Association, had escaped at least one past disaster. A few years ago, they walked away from an in-flight engine fire caused by a worn fuel line in a small plane Warren had built using a Chevrolet engine.
In that incident, the pair was forced to make an emergency landing in a hay field with the plane ablaze. Less than a minute after the three passengers jumped from the plane's door, the entire cockpit was engulfed in flames.
"Nobody could believe we walked away. I give all the credit to God and my father's flying skills. He saved our lives," Ridings told the Houston Chronicle after the accident.
The plane that crashed Saturday, registered to Harold L. Woodward of Girard, made its first flight in July 2009.
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