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Memories of Troy

Troy Phillip White
March 14, 1965 - October 23, 2004

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    Troy had always yearned to ride in an authentic "warbird". Late in the afternoon on Saturday, October 23, 2004, he finally had that opportunity. He told a friend just before going up "This is too cool!".  We can still picture the broad grin on his face as he was climbing into the cockpit and buckling up for his flight.  Unfortunately, it was Troy's final flight into the "wild blue yonder". Both Troy and Curtis Bell, the pilot, died in the crash of a North American AT-6 vintage aircraft (shown below) near Summit, SC.   Troy is pictured above with his RANS S-9 Chaos, which he was in the process of rebuilding and recovering.

    The above photo was taken shortly before the accident of the actual AT-6 Texan aircraft in which Troy was riding. Curtis Bell had much experience in this plane and had been flying it since his teenage years.  Curtis is shown in this photo to the left of the plane in the blue shirt and khaki pants and with back to the camera. The words on the back of his shirt were "Life's short ... Fly hard!" Unfortunately, those words proved too prophetic ... and the previously fun-filled day ended in tragedy. Our deepest sympathies are also extended to the Bell family.

    Troy was an active member of the South Carolina Air National Guard and crew chief of an F-16 jet at McEntire Air Base near Columbia, SC. He had participated in Operations Desert Storm (Kuwait/Iraq) and Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan). Above is a photo of Troy when he served overseas. He was given a full military funeral with honors on Wednesday, October 27, 2004.

Above, some of the many flowers sent by family and friends, including the arrangement sent by the Tree Top Flyers.

    Troy loved flying; he pursued it with passion. While it is difficult to explain to others just why we love flying, the poem "High Flight" sums up those feelings about as well as anything else might.  Click on the little plane above to read the poem. 

    Here's a poem which we believe that Troy would have liked:

When I must leave you for a little while
Please do not grieve and shed wild tears
And hug your sorrow to you through the years
But start out bravely with a gallant smile;

Reach out your hand in comfort and in cheer
And I in turn will comfort you and hold you near;
And never, never be afraid to die,
For I am waiting for you in the sky!

Troy, we miss you

To see the plaque presented to Pam White in honor of Troy by the club, click on the icon below.