2 killed in T-6 Texan crash off coast of Florida

(CNN) – A small plane crashed Saturday in the waters near Miramar Beach, Florida, killing a male pilot and his female passenger, officials said.
Divers recovered the bodies from the AT6-Texan, a World War II-era plane, which was under about 50 feet of water and roughly half a mile off shore, according to Coast Guard spokesman Stephen Lehmann.
The release of the victims’ names is pending notification of family, according to Walton County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Mike Gurspan.
The bodies were sent to a medical examiner for an autopsy.
The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating the crash. The sheriff’s office would not comment on the possible cause of the accident.

cnn.com/2010/US/03/06/florid … tml?hpt=T2

Edit: AP is reporting pilot as Birmingham, Al neurosurgeon Dr. Evan Zeigler. Said Zeigler was in formation flight with several other aircraft when the crash occured. Very sad all around; for the old plane, the pilot and passenger and their families.

More info from this article:

I tried to copy and paste part of the article, but got blocked by the debug monster. Basically it says he was flying in formation with 5 other aircraft when he nosedived into the water trying to pull out of a loop. A 12 yr old girl videoed the crash from the beach, which I guess is in the hands of the NTSB now. Wonder if the video will ever surface?

Again, very sad. Formation flying and aerobatics aren’t for everyone, just because they can afford it. The machismo involved in flying with 4 other pilots is a strong drug I’m sure.

Allen, didn’t you go formation flying with a guy in a T-6? Not the same guy (or from the same group) I hope?

Maybe the media will obtain it under a Freedom of Information Act request. However, the girl owns the copyright, so she could control its release I believe.

What you are implying is total speculation on your part, unless you know something everyone else doesn’t.

It’s true, I am speculating, but it’s what’s done on this site every day by almost everyone on here. And I’m sure every single person that hears the facts: a neurosurgeon, doing aerobatics in a WWII-era trainer and failing to pull out of a loop can’t help but speculate the exact same thing. I’m extremely sorry for the families and other pilot’s involved, but I’m just saying what anyone would think. Even though it won’t change anything, I sincerely hope that I am 100% wrong.

Until we hear otherwise,


I live here and saw them flying formation on the beach about an hour before the crash. I did not know the pilot or his wife, but I have seen the plane at the airport many times. I know many of the T-6 pilots that fly here and I have even logged time in one of the planes that fly in that group. They have become quite a staple here in Destin and we all look forward to seeing them on nice weekends. I was even going to fly on Saturday because it was so nice here. It really hit home to me especially since it is in the area I fly frequently. I have seen them shoot low approaches over the beach numerous times and they are all excellent aviators. It is truly a sad thing to see in our area. I will post any updates if something comes out locally. I heard that the pilot also owned a P-51.

I have met and spoken to doctor Zeigler several time at the Alex City aiport, in Alabama. He was a great pilot who has been flying for many decades. He was a very nice guy. He was not just some rich guy on an adrenaline rush. I understand that you don’t know him and you were just “speculating,” which is the natural response, but I just wanted to let you know that he knew what he was doing. Sometimes things just go wrong. He was part owner in a P-51 and I have whitnessed him pull a few gs in it. I am very saddened at the news of his death.

nwfdailynews.emeraldcoastphotosw … ubAlbums=0

photos of the wreckage

After seeing the pics and tail number (N47LF), I saw several pics on here of the aircraft.
flightaware.com/photos/view/6514 … raft/N47LF
All pics posted by FA member “HAZeiger” (not Zeigler as the stories reported), so I guess he was a FA member as well. :cry: Regardless of how the accident occured, very sad for everyone all around.

Is there any indication the Doctor and the others had military flying experience or formation flying training?

Second one to go down within a few miles of one another. Very sad to see.

nwfdailynews.com/news/loved- … pilot.html