Family Remembers Pilot Killed in Plane Crash

Michael Payne, 69, died doing what he loved: flying

By Tammy Mutasa
|  Wednesday, Mar 6, 2013  |  Updated 7:44 PM CDT
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The family of 69-year-old Michael Payne remember the man who died when his stunt plane crashed in a field near Terrell Monday.

Tammy Mutasa, NBC 5 Mesquite Reporter

The family of 69-year-old Michael Payne remember the man who died when his stunt plane crashed in a field near Terrell Monday.

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A North Texas man has been identified as the pilot in the deadly plane crash near Terrell.

Michael Payne, 69, lived in Rowlett with his wife and two kids for nearly twenty years.

On Monday his stunt plane crashed, killing him. 

"He was like a big brother," said Arch McColl, his best friend of 30 years. "He did what his passion was; he died flying which he so enjoyed.”

Payne had been flying planes since he was a teenager.

Payne’s family says the experienced pilot took off from Mesquite Metro Airport as usual, flying an aerobatic plane he bought less than a month ago.

After taking the skies for about 45 minutes, National Transportation Safety Board investigators told NBC 5 the 1993 "Celebrity" model plane crashed in a field Southwest of Terrell.

"He was flying a very light plane and he did actually acrobatics in his plane and you can be surprised by the weather," said McColl.

His family remembers the Eagle Scout as an adventure enthusiast who also loved his country, horses and all things cowboys. On top of flying, Mr. Payne was passionate about riding his motorcycle and sailing, which he did on White Rock Lake and in the Pacific Ocean.

"He was a thoughtful guy," said McColl. "So even though he loved adventure, his normal life was calm and methodical and honest and people were attracted to that both in business and his personal life."

Services for Payne will be at the First United Methodist Church in Rowlett on Friday.

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