Dr. Guy Baldwin, General Aviation News’ medical columnist, died Oct. 4 during an afternoon performance at the Tucumcari Air Show at the Tucumcari Municipal Airport (TCC) in New Mexico. Baldwin, 60, from Tulsa, Okla., was an Aviation Medical Examiner and an accomplished aerobatics pilot. He often performed in air shows in his Extra 300L.
According to Tucumcari Police Chief Larry Ham, Baldwin had already performed several maneuvers successfully before he dove toward the ground to pick up speed for the next one.
“He came down toward the ground and got too low and the belly of the airplane hit the ground,” said Ham. “The aircraft did not disintegrate, although the engine separated from the airplane.”
Baldwin died instantly.
Airport officials said the aircraft came down approximately 500 feet from spectators, sending up a huge dust cloud and leaving a debris trail as it slid on the ground. There was no fire or explosion. The show was cancelled after the crash.
When the announcer told the crowd the show was cancelled, he also asked if anyone had video of the accident that they would be willing to turn over to help the investigation, according to Ham.
“We had approximately five people who came forward,” he said. “We turned that video over to the NTSB.”
This was the first crash in the air show’s 14-year history. The FAA and the NTSB are continuing the investigation.
Baldwin, who had been a pilot for more than 35 years, had logged more than 4,000 hours. In 2003 he was voted Oklahoma’s Aviator of the Year.
He was one of the nation’s busiest AMEs, performing close to 3,000 exams each year. Well-known at the FAA’s aeromedical facility in Oklahoma City, Baldwin was a strong advocate for pilots in the medical process.
He also was known for his work with the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Oklahoma, using his aerobatic routine to increase awareness of the organization, which grants wishes to children with terminal illnesses.
Baldwin is survived by his wife, Felice; daughter, Brittny; and son, Hunter.
Condolences are pouring in from all over the world, according to Felice Baldwin. “Guy touched so many lives,” she said. “I am so lucky to have spent 21 years with him.”
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the Make-A-Wish Foundation, 4504 E. 67th St., Building II, Suite 208, Tulsa, Okla., 74136, or the Tulsa Air and Space Museum, 3624 N. 74th E. Ave., Tulsa, Okla., 74115.
“We have received so many flowers and plants,” Mrs. Baldwin said. “I’d really like to see the money go to either of those organizations.”