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Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Elgin Wells Jr., son of deceased DL Capt. Elgin Miles Wells Sr.

.....dear friends of the Elgin Wells family.....
~ IN MEMORY ~
Musician/pilot Elgin Miles Wells Jr., son of deceased DL Captain Elgin Miles Wells Sr.
1949 ~ 2018
 
Please see below...news of a tragic accident and the death of Elgin Wells Jr., son of the late DL Captain Elgin Wells Sr. who passed in 2007.  Per news articles:    
“Elgin Wells Jr., 68, was performing a training run in Zhengzhou, China, on April 25 when his one-of-a-kind ‘Starjammer’ fell from 100 meters above the Shangjie Airport runway, according to Xinhua News Agency.”
Captain Wells Sr.’s obituary also appears at the very bottom of this posting.
You can read more about Elgin Wells Jr.’s musical talents and aviation pursuits at
also on his Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/elgin.wells.92
As more news is received as to arrangements, we will be sure to update our memorial site.
            Thank you,
                ~ Carol for the PCN 
From: David L. Roberts Sent: Sunday, April 29, 2018   Subj: Death of son of the late Retired DL Captain Elgin Wells, Sr.
 

................. Friday’s Atlanta Journal Constitution article.... "Pilot dies in crash practicing for China Air Show".  The pilot was Elgin Wells, Jr. 68................Captain Wells Sr. was born 8/7/17, hired by DL 4/19/46 and passed away 2/19/2007, one of the nicest men you ever met.  He too was a General Aviation pilot and had some notoriety when the engine failed on his light airplane and he glided to a mostly safe landing in the median on a divided highway just northeast of Atlanta.  More about that in his obituary below.

https://www.ajc.com/news/local/gwinnett-pilot-known-for-light-covered-plane-dies-china-crash/jp7bz75ZJMTOKN6sm5AEBK/

Gwinnett pilot known for light-covered plane dies in China crash

A Gwinnett County pilot and musician known for flying a plane covered in hundreds of LED lights died in a plane crash in China, according to a local news report.

Elgin Wells Jr., 68, was performing a training run in Zhengzhou, China, on April 25 when his one-of-a-kind “
Starjammer” fell from 100 meters above the Shangjie Airport runway, according to Xinhua News Agency.
Wells, a Peachtree Corners resident, was in China for the Zhengzhou Air Show, which is scheduled to begin Friday, April 27. Wells performed aerobatic stunts and routines in the Starjammer, which was outfitted for entertainment.

Wells had been flying the Starjammer since 2010. The custom aircraft featured 255 lights and a 4,000-watt sound system, both of which played performance sequences that Wells programmed himself. Wells’ last Facebook post shows the Starjammer being shipped to China on March 10.

Wells, a regular at the Gwinnett County Airport in Lawrenceville, followed his father into aviation. Elgin Wells Sr., who died in 2007, was a pilot in World War II before becoming a commercial pilot for Delta,
according to his obituary.

The younger Wells was also a professional jazz musician, helming the Elgin Wells Group. He sang and performed multiple instruments, including the trumpet, flute and violin, according to his website. The group performed in metro Atlanta regularly; the last advertised performance was in Duluth in October 2017.
----------------------

U.S. Pilot Elgin Wells Killed While Practicing for Chinese Airshow

 posted in: Airshows |  24

[]

Elgin Wells, known for his “Starjammer” routine was killed when his aerobatic aircraft crashed during a practice flight ahead of the Zhengzhou airshow in Zhengzhou, China.

The crash occurred around 6:14pm local time on Wednesday the 26th of April. An investigation into the cause of the crash is underway.

The Zhengzhou Air Show is scheduled to kick off on Friday, April 27th and last until May 1st. Several airshow performers from the United States are scheduled to perform. In March, Well’s aircraft was shipped to China in preparation for the show.

Wells was a native of the Atlanta, GA area. From the age of 14, he began playing instruments and singing. His band, the “The Elgin Wells Group” won several awards, including the New South Music Award for Best Jazz Band. He has produced 12 albums, mainly in the jazz and blues genre.

He began flying in 1968 at the age of 18. His father, a fighter squadron commander who served in the Pacific during WW2 was a career pilot with delta Airlines. Elgin’s dad wanted him to join the airlines, but all Wells wanted to do was fly aerobatics. In the early 2000s, Elgin was flying Unlimited low level aerobatic competitions and helped lead a team of airshow pilots known as “Airshow Unlimited.”

Starjammer

In 1996, Wells began building the StarJammer, which has 250+ lights and a 4,000 watt amplifier and onboard loudspeakers as a sound system. As the World’s only aircraft of it’s kind, the StarJammer combines aerobatics and music together in one unique performance for both daytime and nighttime airshows.

Photo compliments of Elgin Wells Website

http://airshowstuff.com/v4/2018/u-s-pilot-elgin-wells-killed-while-practicing-for-chinese-airshow/

These are some other articles about his death online along with his personal web site.

http://www.elginwells.com/

http://www.fox5atlanta.com/news/gwinnett-county-music-teacher-stun-pilot-dies-in-china

http://www.gwinnettdailypost.com/local/gwinnett-resident-aerobatic-pilot-reportedly-killed-in-plane-crash-in/article_81f1e0d9-a77b-50f7-a8a8-91aed493b0fc.html

https://www.legacy.com/obituaries/atlanta/obituary.aspx?n=elgin-wells&pid=86641581
Elgin Wells Sr. News Obituary Article
 
DULUTH: Elgin Wells Sr., 89, thrill of flying a lifelong love
 
After 30 years of piloting planes for Delta Air Lines, Elgin Wells Sr. hadn't lost his taste for the breathtaking expansiveness of the open sky. He still wanted to shake off his earthly bonds and soar.
 
Which is why --- at an age when many would have preferred the gravitational pull of a La-Z-Boy recliner --- the retired Delta captain took up aerobatics and started putting his plane through stomach-churning maneuvers that would have made his commercial passengers cringe.
 
"This is just exhilarating, moving in three dimensions," he said in a 1997 Atlanta Journal-Constitution article, when he was 79.
 
After three decades of flying passenger jets as uneventfully as possible, he faced an endless blue canvas ready to be filled with loops, rolls and spins.
 
"That three-dimensional freedom was his favorite thing," said his son, Elgin Wells Jr.
 
Elgin Miles Wells Sr., 89, of Duluth died Feb. 19 at Hospice Atlanta of complications from a hiatal hernia. The body was cremated. The memorial service is 10 a.m. March 10 at Gwinnett County Airport/Briscoe Field's EAA Hangar 1. Wages & Sons Funeral Home, Gwinnett Chapel, is in charge of arrangements.
 
The Jackson, Miss., native graduated from Mississippi College in 1938, did graduate work in physics at Duke University, enlisted in the Army Air Corps and earned his wings in 1941.
 
He trained pilots stateside for several years, then served as a fighter pilot and photo reconnaissance squadron commander in World War II.
 
At Delta, he started flying DC-3s in 1947 and retired in 1977, having witnessed "the transition from the propeller age to the jet age," his son said.
 
His favorite route was to the West Coast.
 
"He always said he was a cloud freak," his son said. "That long flight allowed him plenty of time for that coast-to-coast panoramic view, where he could see the entire mid-belt of the country in a whole afternoon."
 
"Dad commented that most pilots really love what they do, but occasionally there are some who are just punching the clock, and he just could not understand that," his son said. "The glorious visuals, the fact that people are actually leaving the ground and going great distances --- that awe never left him."
 
One night in 1993, every ounce of his piloting skills came into play when he was forced to make an emergency landing on Ga. 316. When his yellow 1976 Bellanca Decathlon's engine suddenly cut out, Mr. Wells --- then 76 --- followed the lights below, aimed for a traffic-free lane, dodged power lines and landed safely.
 
"He hit a traffic light with the left wing, but because it was green, they couldn't even give us a traffic ticket," his son said. Still, the elder Mr. Wells exclaimed, "Damn, 50 years of flying and that's the first time I've scratched a plane."
 
Until recently, Mr. Wells was still lifting weights and completing an aerobic workout before heading to Briscoe Field to fly with his son, also an aerobatic pilot.
 
He took photographs of wildflowers and butterflies that his late wife, Girl Scout executive Geraldine Wells, used in nature lectures, and he tinkered and schemed with dozens of inventions.
 
With his flying buddies, "we'd be discussing the physics of aeronautics and he'd bring up an equation from 50 years ago," said his friend Dr. Leonard Pace of Lilburn. "The man was just amazing, and not just mentally but physically.
 
"I mean, I didn't meet him until he was 74, when most people are in their waning years, but he would come out there and fly aerobatics with us all day long.
 
"There was no one sharper than Elgin Wells."

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