Back at Gunsite and Remembering the Hughes’
Over the weekend, I was back at Gunsite Academy in Paulden, Arizona for the annual Gunsite Alumni Shoot (better known as GAS match). In case you missed my series back in April, you can check it out here.
The official shoot was on Saturday with a barbeque and get together Friday night. When I pulled up to the famous Raven gate around 4:30 pm, I knew something was wrong. There were media satellite trucks and Yavapai County Sheriff Department vehicles everywhere.
Luckily, my buddy Bob Shimizu was at the gate and he let me in. I made my way to the office and found one of my instructors, Dave Starin, and his wife, Karen, who works as a class coordinator. When I asked what was going on, they told me there had been a plane crash.
Earlier in the day at 12:30 pm, Buz Mills, the owner of Gunsite, watched the crash happen in horror after a Cessna 340 flew just feet above his head and crashed 150 yards behind the office. The plane made an extremely low pass over the property, and after attempting another extremely low pass, the right wing of the plane was severed upon striking a 40 foot tall radio tower. The wing rolled over the plane, immediately flipping it over and slamming it into the ground. The plane exploded into flames upon impact. Debris fell everywhere, and by the time it was over, there wasn’t a plane left, just pieces. There were no survivors.