[Sign Up Now] to Receive Our FREE Daily SCVTV-SCVNews Digest by E-Mail

Inside
Weather
Santa Clarita CA
Mostly cloudy
Mostly cloudy
61°F
 
Calendar
Today in
S.C.V. History
May 19
1851 - San Fernando-San Francisquito-Eliz. Lake Roads become public highways [story]
wagon


Harry Bell, 2011 SCV Man of the Year

Update:

Funeral services for Harry Bell will take place Saturday at 1:30 p.m. at Eternal Valley Memorial Park. Details are available by calling Janet or Ed at 252-5500.

 

The Ventura County Coroner’s office has identified 2011 SCV Man of the Year Harry Bell as one of two victims in a two-seater plane crash near Piru. Although the plane has two controls, the 89-year-old Bell was considered the pilot. His co-pilot was identified as 59 year-old Michael Dwain Boolen of Pacoima. Both men were credentialed as instructor pilots.

The plane went down at 1:25 p.m. Thursday near a residence in an orange grove belonging to Rancho Camulos; the crash site is directly across the street from the Rancho Camulos historic site, about 100 feet from Highway 126.

The plane ended up less than 50 feet from a residence in the grove and two teenaged daughters of the ranch caretaker were outside playing with their dog when they heard and saw the plane fall from the sky.

According to one of the girls, they saw the plane flying overhead and thought it was going to perform a “loop de loop” like they’d seen in movies, but instead, they heard a pop, then silence. When asked if she thought the plane’s engine went out, she said it was just “very quiet.” The plane made a hard landing on its belly.

Sgt. Eric Buschow of the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department said that members of the sheriff’s bomb squad were sent to the scene to deactivate a small rocket device used to deploy a parachute in the event the aircraft experienced an emergency.

“On these lightweights, a parachute can deploy and slow down the landing if they have an emergency,” Buschow said. “For some reason, they didn’t activate it. We had to deactivate it to remove the danger to our officers and the coroner.”

Investigators from the Federal Aviation Administration were on the scene Thursday for a preliminary report; the National Transportation Safety Bureau investigators arrived Friday and will determine what caused the crash.

Examples of TL-Ultralight aircraft.

Bell lived life at its fullest, participating in this year’s Fourth of July parade, driving a dignitary in the parade with his lady friend Thelma at his side and throwing himself a birthday party last Monday and being the life of the party, harmonizing with his singing buddies in barbershop style.

“His daughter who usually throws the parties was in Europe, so he said he was going to throw himself a party,” said Candy Spahr, who shared the dais with Bell when she was named Woman of the Year in 2011. “It was a beautiful celebration. All of his friends and loved ones were there with him.

File photo: Harry Bell with one of his previous airplanes. That’s Harry, but this isn’t the TL-Ultralight Sting Sport that crashed.

“I was totally shocked when I heard the news,” she continued. “He talked about his airplane at the party, it wasn’t a favorite of Thelma’s, he said he would be done with airplane soon. He was so full of life and loved flying.

“It’s devastating news. We are so sorry to see such an extraordinary man gone.”

Michael Boolen was a commercial pilot and certified flight instructor with all the fixed-wing ratings based at Whiteman Airport in Van Nuys. He had more than 12,000 hours of flight time and more than 40 years of aviation experience.

Copiot Michael Boolen | Facebook photo

Boolen also owned an electrical engineering firm in Van Nuys and often worked as a consultant for people with aviation, electrical or contracting needs.

He wrote as introduction on his website, “I am a gentleman and a hard-working, positive individual full of ideas.”

Bell has been a pillar of the community for many years and the news of his death shocked the community.

Ed Bolden was Harry’s business partner, fellow Rotarian and lifelong friend. The pair met when Bell was working as a civil engineer for the County and Bolden was designing the North Oaks tract around 1961. Three years later, they formed Andel Engineering.

Michael Boolen and family | Facebook photo

“He spent a lot of time doing work with strong ethics for the clientele that he had,” Bolden said. “He was very sincere and conscientious and I tried to do that as well.”

Bell invited Bolden to join the local Rotary Club, which broke the color barrier. When the club members launched into patriotic song, Bell was always the first note; singing was one of his favorite hobbies.

Upon learning of Bell’s death, Robin Clough from the SCV Senior Center said: “This is truly devastating. Harry will be sorely missed by his Senior Center family. We had the pleasure of his vibrant and often humorous conversation, volunteerism, and especially hearing him sing and dance with his beloved Thelma. It was an honor to know Harry.”

 

READ Harry Bell’s life story and watch a short video here => http://scvhistory.com/scvhistory/mwoty2011harrybell.htm

 

Harry Bell in a Newhall Fourth of July Parade with his prophetic license plate, LO I FLY. He rode in the 2012 parade the day before the crash. A Rotarian as well as a Shriner and Mason, he owns the property at the northeast corner of Main and 5th streets where the Rotary Club holds its annual July 4th pancake breakfasts.

Comment On This Story
COMMENT POLICY: We welcome comments from individuals and businesses. All comments are moderated. Comments are subject to rejection if they are vulgar, combative, or in poor taste.
REAL NAMES ONLY: All posters must use their real individual or business name. This applies equally to Twitter account holders who use a nickname.

1 Comment

  1. Sally Bond says:

    What a lovely tribute to a wonderful man!
    My late husband flew with him sometimes and they were also in the same barbershop singing group “The Men of Harmony”. What a tragic loss of such an amazing man!
    He was so proud of his new ‘plane and we would meet him at Agua Dulce Airport for their monthly barbeque.
    Thank you for posting this.

Leave a Comment


SCV NewsBreak
LOCAL NEWS HEADLINES
Friday, May 17, 2019
May 18-19: NKLA, County Animal Care Team for Super Pet Adoption Fair
LA County Animal Care and Control will participate in Best Friends NKLA's Super Adoption event at Warner Park in Woodland Hills on Saturday and Sunday, May 18-19, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Friday, May 17, 2019
Hill, House Pass Equality Act Protecting LGBTQ Americans
Congresswoman and LGBT Equality Caucus Co-chair Katie Hill voted Thursday in support of the Equality Act, H.R. 5, which passed the U.S. House of Representatives in a bipartisan vote of 236-173.
Friday, May 17, 2019
Hill Commemorates National Police Week, Fallen CHP Officer
U.S. Rep. Katie Hill celebrated National Police Week by working across the aisle on a law enforcement legislative agenda, commemorative Special Order Hour on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives, and bipartisan press conference addressing a new bill to support police.
Keep Up With Our Facebook

Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
1851 - San Fernando-San Francisquito-Eliz. Lake Roads become public highways [story]
wagon
1978 - Concert scene for "KISS Meets the Phantom of the Park" filmed at Magic Mountain [story]
KISS
Curtiss-Wright’s Defense Solutions division, a trusted leading supplier of rugged systems for aerospace and defense with a facility in Santa Clarita, will be a sponsor of the Santa Clarita-to-Pasadena leg of the Amgen Tour of California on Saturday, May 18.
Curtiss-Wright to Sponsor Santa Clarita-to-Pasadena Leg of Amgen Race
The city of Santa Clarita will host two additional public meetings on Thursday, May 30, for residents to have the opportunity to provide feedback on the proposed plan to build an inclusive play area at Canyon Country Park.
May 30: Public Meetings on Inclusive Play Area at Canyon Country Park
The next meeting of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors is set for Tuesday, May 21, starting at 9:30 a.m.
May 21: LA County Board of Supervisors Meeting
The Santa Clarita Planning Commission will consider approval of Verizon's request to build a new wireless communications facility at Copper Hill Road and San Francisquito Canyon Road at its next regular meeting on Tuesday, May 21, starting at 6 p.m.
May 21: Santa Clarita Planning Commission to Consider Wireless, Jobs Boost
The seventh inning turned out to be the difference Thursday night, as Rancho Cucamonga scored four unearned runs en route to a 7-2 win over the JetHawks at The Hangar.
Lancaster Loses Series Finale to Quakes
LA County Animal Care and Control will participate in Best Friends NKLA's Super Adoption event at Warner Park in Woodland Hills on Saturday and Sunday, May 18-19, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
May 18-19: NKLA, County Animal Care Team for Super Pet Adoption Fair
Congresswoman and LGBT Equality Caucus Co-chair Katie Hill voted Thursday in support of the Equality Act, H.R. 5, which passed the U.S. House of Representatives in a bipartisan vote of 236-173.
Hill, House Pass Equality Act Protecting LGBTQ Americans
The Los Angeles County Probation Department’s 2018 Annual Report was released Friday.
LA County Probation Dept. Issues Annual Report
U.S. Rep. Katie Hill celebrated National Police Week by working across the aisle on a law enforcement legislative agenda, commemorative Special Order Hour on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives, and bipartisan press conference addressing a new bill to support police.
Hill Commemorates National Police Week, Fallen CHP Officer
Not even the weather could stop The WiSH Education Foundation's "Wine on the Roof" fundraising event at the Westfield Valencia Town Center mall Thursday night.
WiSH Education Foundation Hosts 2nd Annual ‘Wine on the Roof’
The California Department of Transportation will continue nightly lane closures next week on portions of State Route 14 for a $6.6 million pavement rehabilitation project to improve the condition of the lanes and create a smoother ride for motorists.
May 20-25: Nightly Roadwork on Highway 14 to Roll On
The Trump administration said Thursday it would pull nearly a billion dollars in federal funding for California’s much-maligned high-speed rail project, terminating an agreement that previously awarded the Golden State another $2.5 billion for the plan.
Feds Cancel Nearly $1 Billion for California High-Speed Train
The California Senate Appropriations Committee has given the green light to measures by Sen. Scott Wilk addressing foster youth enrichment grants, homelessness and treatment/probation for individuals convicted of animal abuse.
Wilk Measures on Homelessness, Animal Abuse, Foster Youth Head to Vote
In another setback for groups fighting to stem California’s housing crisis, a proposal meant to spur new apartments near popular transit centers died silently in committee Thursday.
Transit-Friendly Housing Bill Shelved in Sacramento
Catholic bishops in California have announced the establishment of a new compensation program that will be available to any person who has been sexually abused as a minor by diocesan priests of the participating dioceses, no matter when that abuse might have occurred.
California Catholic Dioceses Announce New Compensation Program for Sex Abuse Victims
1993 - Dale Poe, 61, developer of Stevenson Ranch, killed in car crash [story]
Stevenson Ranch fountain
Here is the list of Santa Clarita arts-related events for Friday, May 17 - Wednesday, June 5:
May 17-June 5: Santa Clarita Arts Calendar
At one point during last month's Golden State Athletic Conference championship, someone asked Robert Penalber what he was shooting through 15-odd holes.
TMU’s Penalbar Sets Sights on NAIA Nationals
LANCASTER – The University of Antelope Valley is pleased to welcome Nicole Brouillard as the new head coach for its women's volleyball program.
Nicole Brouillard Named UAV’s New Head Women’s Volleyball Coach
Los Angeles County Supervisor Janice Hahn secured $700,000 of Measure H funds Tuesday to hire and train 22 peer navigators who will be stationed at every community college in Los Angeles County.
Measure H Funds to Go Toward Peer Navigators for Homeless College Students
There are only a handful of therapists in Los Angeles who specialized in working with individuals with autism.
CSUN, Ed Asner Family Center Partner to Train Autism Therapists
The 2nd Annual Yoga Kula Festival will take place Saturday, June 1, from 7:45 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Yoga Kula Festival to Benefit Hart Park, Bridge to Home, SCV Youth Project
The Museum of Contemporary Art Santa Barbara (MCASB) presents the West Coast solo debut of James Benning: Quilts, Cigarettes & Dirt (Portraits of America), which runs from Thursday, May 16 to Sunday, July 14
Longtime CalArts Faculty Member James Benning Debuts Santa Barbara Exhibit
LANCASTER – The Rancho Cucamonga Quakes were too much for Lancaster to handle Wednesday night, as the JetHawks fell, 18-8, at The Hangar.
Quakes Prove Too Much for JetHawks
LOS ANGELES – Because of the recent rainfall, Los Angeles County Health Officer, Muntu Davis, MD, MPH, is cautioning residents who are planning to visit Los Angeles County beaches to avoid swimming, surfing, and playing in ocean waters around discharging storm drains, creeks, and rivers.
Advisory Issued for All Los Angeles County Beaches
The city of Santa Clarita has been recognized by the Construction Management Association of America’s (CMAA) Southern California chapter with a 2019 Project Achievement Award for the City’s 2017-18 Annual Overlay and Slurry Seal program.
City Lauded for Annual Overlay & Slurry Seal Program
A panel of judges has selected the recipes, including one from Newhall resident Merry Graham, that will be represented in the sixth National Festival of Breads, sponsored by Red Star Yeast, King Arthur Flour and Kansas Wheat. The baking competition will be held June 8, 2019, in Manhattan, Kansas.
Newhall Resident Selected as Finalist for National Bread Competition
After 36 years as an established, trusted community leader in the core areas of housing, community development, and economic development, the Community Development Commission/Housing Authority of the County of Los Angeles (CDC/HACoLA) is excited to announce that it has rebranded itself as the Los Angeles County Development Authority (LACDA).
County’s Housing Authority Rebranded to Better Serve Residents, Partners
SACRAMENTO - State Sen. Scott Wilk, representing the 21st Senate District, announces that Senate Bill 153 (SB 153), a measure to ensure California is well positioned to begin the cultivation of industrial hemp, has cleared the Senate Appropriations Committee and will now go to the floor for consideration.
Wilk Measure Expanding CA’s Industrial Hemp Heads to Senate Floor
RIVERSIDE — The Cougars track & field program is sending three student-athletes to the California Community College Athletic Association (CCCAA) State Championship meet this weekend.
Cougars Track & Field Sends 3 Student-Athletes to State Championships
The rainy morning commute has caused two separate collisions near the Newhall Avenue exit and northbound Highway 14.
Rain Triggers Separate Collisions Near Newhall Avenue Exit
SACRAMENTO - State Assemblywoman Christy Smith, Chair of the Joint Legislative Committee on Emergency Management, facilitated an Informational Hearing on Tuesday
Smith Facilitates Hearing on Wildfire Preparedness
Medical examiners identified the body of a man found deceased at the Placerita Canyon Nature Center on Wednesday.
Medical Examiners Identify Santa Clarita Man Found Dead at Nature Center
The Valencia High School Music Department invites audiences to experience the many exhilarating performances at the annual Spring Concert on Wednesday, May 22nd at the VHS theater at 7:00 p.m.
May 22: Valencia High Music Department’s Spring Concert