Ruidoso Downs trainer John M. Cooper and his son Gavyn were killed when their Cirrus SR22 single-engine plane crashed shortly after takeoff from Midland International Airport on Thursday evening.
They were the only people on board.
Reports state that the plane crashed at 7:20 p.m. The National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration are investigating. Unofficial reports indicate the plane hit a fence.
They are survived by Chassity Cooper, John's wife and Gavyn's mother, and Callie Cooper, John's daughter and Gavyn's sister.
John M. Cooper was having the best year of his young training career after being successful in the energy business.
Last Saturday, the Cooper-trained Pj Splash Of Joy qualified for the Grade 1, $1 million Ruidoso Futurity. Last Sunday, the Cooper trained Flight Force gained top preference to race in the $100,000 Mr Jess Perry Stakes at Ruidoso Downs.
Cooper had entered Mojo Perry in the $100,000 Junos Request Stakes at Remington Park to run on Saturday night. Mojo Perry is coming off a third-place run in the Decketta Stakes.
Gavyn, 16, was a promising quarterback on the Midland High School football team.
The SR22 plane has been the world's best-selling general aviation airplane every year since 2003.
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