A 23-year-old man died after allegedly stealing an aircraft from an Addison, Texas, flight school and crashing in a field on Wednesday night in what appears to be a suicide by aircraft. The national suicide and crisis lifeline phone number is 988 and counsellors are available around the clock.
The man, identified as Logan Timothy James from Stokesdale, North Carolina, was the sole occupant at the time of the crash. According to a release from the Texas Department of Public Safety, James allegedly stole a 2023 Cessna 172S Skyhawk SP (N23107) from ATP Flight School at Addison Airport (KADS), north of downtown Dallas.
CBS Dallas reported flight data showing the aircraft taking off around 6:54 p.m. before heading east, then flying north past Sulphur Springs and Paris. Information from Aviation Safety Network showed a descent of nearly 5,000 FPM before the aircraft crashed in an open field nine miles northeast of Telephone, Texas, at 8:26 p.m.
An audio recording captured the final exchange between the pilot and an ATC controller. “Addison Tower, Career Track 655 is actually going to depart to the east—uh, I’m climbing up through the clouds and then just gonna head out outside of everything. And about right now you’ll probably realize that I’m not gonna listen to y’alls instructions, and I’m heading to East Texas, and I’m Career Track, so, uh, I’m gonna pull the Comm 1 circuit breaker and Comm 2 circuit breaker right as soon as I un-key the mic.”
Tower then calls Career Track 655, asking “Say again?” but there was no response.
Authorities continue to investigate the circumstances surrounding the accident.