Operation Iraqi Freedom, Fallen Heroes, Iraq War 03/19/03

Michael Scott Lakin

Charleston, West Virginia

December 22, 2011

Age Military Rank Unit/Location
42 Army  

National Guard Military Flight Instructor

 Served in Iraq.

From WSAZ News Channel 3 wsaz.com 12/22/11:

Local Iraq Vet Dies in Small Plane Crash in Ohio
A local Iraq War Veteran has died in a small plane crash.
Posted: 5:48 PM Dec 22, 2011
Reporter: Hanna Francis 

MARYSVILLE, OHIO (WSAZ) -- A local Iraq War Veteran has died in a small plane crash at an airport in Ohio where he was performing aerobatic tricks for re-certification.

Michael Lakin, of Charleston, West Virginia, died at the hospital after he was injured in the crash about noon Thursday at the Union County Airport.


Lakin was a Naval Flight Instructor and a Naval Aviator for the Marine Corps and a graduate of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, according to his LinkedIn page.

Authorities say Lakin was the only person aboard the plane.

Airport general manager Ed Rusch said just before the crash, Lakin was performing low-altitude aerobatics for an on-site examiner when he crashed just south of the airport's runway in Marysville.

Rusch says aerobatic pilots must be re-certified periodically to perform at air shows. He says they're allowed to use the airport for practice and re-certification.

Statement from U.S. Senator Manchin (D-W.Va.): “Gayle and I were so saddened to hear today about Mike's tragic death. Mike was so proud to serve his country and the state of West Virginia, and I am so grateful for his service. While no words can give comfort, our thoughts and prayers are with his daughter and entire family during this difficult time.”
From NBC TV 4 nbc4i.com 12/23/11:

Aerobatic Pilot Dies After Crashing Plane At Union Co. Airport
By: Denise Yost & Lauren Evans | NBC4i.com 
Published: December 22, 2011
Updated: December 22, 2011 - 7:46 PM
MARYSVILLE, Ohio --
A pilot has died after a small plane crash at the Union County Airport.

According to the Ohio State Highway Patrol, the call was received shortly before Noon Thursday.

The pilot, Michael Scott Lakin, 42, of Charleston, West Virginia, was flown to The Ohio State University Medical Center after the crash. According to the Ohio State Highway Patrol, he died at the hospital.

According to on-scene officials, Lakin was an aerobatic pilot who was flying to obtain his recertification when his plane crashed into a harvested corn field.

He served in the National Guard and recently returned from a tour of duty in Iraq.

He was a military flight instructor.

He had served as personal pilot for the then-governor, now U.S. Senator from West Virginia who issued a statement on Lakin's death.
Statement from U.S. Senator Manchin (D-W.Va.):

“Gayle and I were so saddened to hear today about Mike's tragic death. Mike was so proud to serve his country and the state of West Virginia, and I am so grateful for his service. While no words can give comfort, our thoughts and prayers are with his daughter and entire family during this difficult time.”

The airport manager and instructor were watching the pilot perform his routine when the crash occurred.

"The examiner was standing, talking with me when the accident happened and we were both watching and … wow. It was not a pleasant afternoon," said Ed Rusch, Union County Airport manager.

The Union County Sheriff's Office responded to the scene along with fire crews and MedFlight.

The plane was a 2004 American Champion Decathlon owned by the pilot.

Staff members said the airport hosts several aerobatic pilots who use the area to practice their flying.

Thursday's incident was the first aerobatic plane crash at the airport.

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