Pilot Remembered By Family As Crash Investigation Continues
CANADIAN COUNTY, Oklahoma - A family is mourning after a man lost his life in a plane crash north of El Reno Wednesday evening.
FAA and NTSB investigators are trying to figure out how a small crop-dusting plane ended up crashing.
Andrew Deterding, from Pond Creek has been identified as the victim.
Investigators say he was just doing his job Wednesday, crop-dusting for a client north of El Reno.
Deterding’s plane got caught in some guy wires, taking down the plane and a radio tower.
“In talking to witnesses there on the scene, it was a crop-dusting plane and had struck some of the guy wires there and caused the aircraft to go down,” Capt. Paul Timmons with Oklahoma Highway Patrol said.
The owner of the land where the crash occurred said he is a longtime client of Deterding’s.
The pilot’s family posted a tribute to Facebook for Deterding on his company Facebook page:
“We lost a great man today. Andy was in a crash involving the guide wires on a radio tower and did not survive. I am at a complete loss of words, but a friend sent us this and it fits perfectly.
All we can be in this life.. is the best version of ourselves. We all try, Day by day. Andy, lived that way, each day. He would wake up, and make the world a better place by being the best human being he could. He did it through his laugh, his jokes, his smile, his heart. He instantly made me feel at ease, as it was easy to see his gold heart shine through his body. In all he did, he walked around with light beaming out of him. Everybody he came across was a better person after experiencing his light.
Dads memory’s and stories will live on. Through every heart he touched. From family and friends to the foster kids we care for that he treated as his own grandchildren. We love you dad, and know you are in heaven on the look out for us.”
Officials call Deterding an experienced pilot.
“I know this company's been in business for a while. So he was an experienced pilot, so I think it was just an unfortunate accident that occurred yesterday,” Timmons said.
The owner of the radio tower, Ty Tyler of Tyler Media, says he’s heartbroken that Deterding lost his life, and is praying for the family.
When the investigation allows Tyler will work to get the radio station, KTUZ, back on air.
Investigators confirm Deterding was wearing a helmet and seatbelt at the time of the crash.