Family of Pilot Issues Statement | News
LAS VEGAS -- The family of Doug Gilliss has released a statement to the media. Gilliss was the pilot of the jet plane that crashed near Boulder City killing himself and a passenger.
The family says it is not ready to talk with the media but put together these statements and released them through a family representative.
Statement 1: Doug was an exceptional pilot! As a recognized expert in the jet "War Bird" community, he flew the L-29 and L-39 aircraft for more than 12 years. There are very few pilots who have flown these jets as frequently as Doug. Because of his experience and professionalism, he was one of the most sought after instructors and demonstration pilots in the US.
Statement 2: Doug started flying when he was in college. He flew T-37, T-41, T-38, C-123, L-29, L-39, T-28 , Learjet and a variety of other types of aircraft. Doug published numerous articles on aircraft safety and war bird flying -- he was a recognized Expert on the subject. He formed a flying safety group for war bird flyers with the support of the FAA. Several aviation magazines (including Classic Jet, Experimental Aircraft Association and FAA publications) published dozens of Doug's articles and photographs monthly.
Statement 3: Doug flew jet war birds because of his background in supersonic jets. The L-39 with its large flight envelope and brilliant maintenance record was his favorite jet to fly but it was a close second to the very reliable L-29.
Statement 4: Flying was a passion of Doug's. He loved to talk about it and share his experiences with anyone who had the time to listen or the desire to learn. He will be missed in the Aviation community and by anyone who knew him. He had an authentic and direct manner infused with a great sense of humor and a stoic nature- a great pilot and a great guy!