View Full Version : Famous vintage-aircraft fighter pilot killed in crash

23rd Jul 2003, 23:20
(Just in case any of you folks might know him.)

Thomas "Sharkbait" Delashaw was taking off from AVP, about five miles from me, in a Hawker Hunter T Mark VII (1950's vintage) when his plane went down less than a minute later. Witnesses pulled him from the plane but found he had no pulse.

FWIW, the pilot's parachute appeared to have been deployed because it was extended from where he body was found to a point more than 20 feet away. "His parachute was attached to him and was stretched out to the trees," one rescuer said.

FAA said their ownership records were not accurate. It was supposedly registered to "Hunter One," real name Andrew McNeil, who said he had sold it to Mark Daniels of Aero Group in Melbourne Florida. Daniels said that was wrong and it really had been bought by One Source Capital, which he co-owned.

Ironically, Sharkbait worked for Aviation Safety Training, which teaches pilots how to recover from upsets and unusual attitudes. The owner of AST said, "he was probably the most accomplished and consummate pilot I've ever flown with."

25th Jul 2003, 05:03
From the local newspaper.

An NTSB investigator said pilot Tom Delashaw steered the jet into an open field Tuesday before it crashed. Homes, a fuel storage facility and high voltage power lines surround the grassy, open area where the vintage jet first hit ground, then broke apart and burned in nearby woods.

"That's just the thing you do without a whole lot of fanfare. You go where you're not going to hurt anyone on the ground," said Delashaw's longtime friend Don Wylie when learning of the investigator's comment. "That would be Tom." Wylie is president of Aviation Safety Training outside Houston, Texas, where Delashaw, 67, was a pilot for the past 12 years. The company works to improve the ability of pilots to recover from inflight loss of control.

He and Delashaw served as Air Force combat pilots in Vietnam, where Delashaw earned the Distinguished Flying Cross. Wylie said Delashaw served two tours in Vietnam, flying F-104 Starfighters and F-4 Phantoms. He doesn't know the details of Delashaw's Distinguished Flying Cross - a medal awarded for valor in flight.