A Shreveport, Louisiana, man was killed when his single-seat SubSonex JSX microjet crashed into Shreveport’s Cross Lake on Sunday. The pilot and sole occupant, Fred Phillips, 73, president of an energy company, died in the crash, which also destroyed the small jet when it impacted the water in front of a number of witnesses. The NTSB is investigating.
The SubSonex is a jet built from a kit manufactured by Sonex Aircraft. The engine that powers it is a 25-pound-thrust turbine manufactured by PBS Velka Bites of the Czech Republic. Phillips’ Sonex was serial number 6, and it had been registered with the FAA since December of 2020. The plane had made several short sorties over the past month. This one lasted just nine minutes and there were no reported distress calls prior to the crash.
Phillips was critically injured in a home explosion in Colorado in 2019, suffering serious burn injuries s and spending months in the hospital. His life partner, Electra Churchill, was killed in the blast.
Phillips was a longtime pilot and a recipient of the Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award for 50 years of safe flying. He was also a philanthropist, known for his generous support of worthy causes in both of the communities where he resided, Shreveport and Pagosa Springs, Colorado.
The NTSB is investigating the Shreveport crash.