MIDLOTHIAN — A pilot was killed late Saturday afternoon when his single-engine airplane crashed at Mid-Way Regional Airport, authorities said.
The pilot, Jim Doyle, was the plane’s only occupant, Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Lynn Lunsford said. Texas Department of Public Safety Trooper James Colunga confirmed the death.
The cause of the death was unknown, Colunga said. But witnesses said the pilot was performing flying maneuvers over the runway in the home-built Skybolt biplane when the crash occurred, Lunsford said. National Transportation Safety Board investigators were expected to arrive Sunday, Colunga said. The runway will be closed until the investigation has concluded.
The airport is about 30 miles south of Dallas in Ellis County.
from Richard Wolf
We lost a good friend and fellow biplane builder & pilot Saturday after Jim Doyle went down in his yellow & blue Skybolt near the Midlothian Airport around 4:30 pm. Jim faced some limited ceilings when he was practicing acro at the time of his accident. He was an active IAC officer in the local DFW IAC chapter and competed in local contests. He was a Stress Engineering manager out at Lockheed Martin.
A handful of us helped Jim transport his Skybolt from his workshop to Grand Prairie airport in 2010 and assemble the beautiful biplane for first flight which came later that year in October 2010. Jim flew his Skybolt to Oshkosh in 2011and won an award for its' show quality workmanship.
Jim was in attendance during my first flight of my Little Toot in June 2012. I used one of his parachutes during my first few test flights. Jim captured an errant snake (in the summer of 2012) that made it inside my hangar office using a critter grabbing tool I had ready, and helped me return it to the great outdoors.
Before selling his single seat Pitts he liked to take it to fly-ins where he was always gracious enough to allow kids to sit in his airplane and have their parents take pictures.
I feel like I lost a brother, but am grateful to have known Jim as a devout father and dedicated aviator who shared a lot of airplane rides with Young Eagles whenever he had the opportunity!