SHREVEPORT, La. – An experimental aircraft crashed into Cross Lake Sunday afternoon killing its sole occupant.

Several witnesses reported seeing the fixed wing single engine craft go down. Shreveport police and firefighters rushed to the scene and dispatched divers into the water.

Fire department divers located the aircraft wreckage submerged in the water on the south side of the lake near Risinger Drive. The pilot, who was identified by Caddo Coroner Todd Thoma as Fred L. Phillips, was still in the aircraft.

The Caddo Sheriff’s Office along with its Marine Unit responded and coordinated the removal of the wreckage. Caddo Parish Sheriff Steve Prator, who also responded to the crash scene, said divers secured the plane as it was lifted from the crash site and Phillips’ body was recovered. Hammerhead Construction provided a barge to push the plane to the boat launch on South Lakeshore Drive. The plane will be stored at Shreveport Regional Airport for National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) investigators. 

According to Sheriff’s Capt. John May, the plane took off from regional airport at 2:36 p.m. and was in the air approximately nine minutes. The plane is described as an experimental aircraft with one seat. 

Phillips was CEO of Phillips Energy. He was critically injured in a 2019 explosion at a house he owned in Colorado. A woman was killed in that blast.