Zach's News Ariticle #2 -

High school student, pilot die in plane crash near Altus

By Aaron Crespo, The Oklahoman   
Published: November 8, 2009



ALTUS — A man identified as an Altus Air Force Base firefighter and an Altus High School student died in a plane crash Sunday northwest of Altus.


The Oklahoma Highway Patrol identified the victims as pilot Robert N. Munson, 38, of Blair, and Zachary James Cook, 17, of Altus.

The plane, a 2001 Skybolt experimental aircraft, took off from Altus/Quartz Mountain Regional Airport about 11:20 a.m., troopers said.

It crashed and caught fire in a field about a mile and a half west of the runway, airport supervisor Daniel Adams said.

Family members of the victims could not be reached for comment.

Greg Camp, the airport director, said Munson was a civilian firefighter at Altus Air Force Base. Camp said Munson owned the plane that he described as an open-cockpit biplane with two seats that was fabricated to look like a World War II era plane.

"Robert was a tenant on the airfield. He owned an airplane, the Skybolt, and we knew him because he's a tenant and pays his bill and comes to the terminal and drinks coffee and talks, you know, just one of the airport people," Camp said.

The Altus Air Force Base public information office would not confirm Munson's employment.

Zachary Cook was a junior at Altus High School where he was involved in the arts, Principal Mark Haught said.

"He was really a big part in building and painting our sets. We have an all-school production in the fall. We're doing White Christmas and he was really involved in that," Haught said. "We had practice scheduled for today, and I was over there, and the kids just couldn't practice. They just got word, and it was really emotional for all of them."

Sally George, a teacher at the school, said Cook was friends with her children.

"He was just a darling boy. He was fun and full of life," George said. "He just was a real sweet boy and lived life to the fullest and we're sure going to miss him ... Just a sad time for all the kids now."

An article from The Collar, the Altus High School student newspaper, said Cook lived with his parents, two younger sisters and had an older brother.

The article said Cook has traveled around the world twice, lived in England for a time and enjoyed surfing and snowboarding.

The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating the crash.



Read more:

Author: Michael Kimball
Date: February 17, 2010