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

Inside
Weather
Santa Clarita CA
Sunny
Sunny
66°F
 
Calendar
Today in
S.C.V. History
February 26
1923 - U.S. release of Charles Chaplin film "The Pilgrim," partially shot at Saugus Train Station & Newhall First Presbyterian Church [watch]
The Pilgrim


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
Tuesday, Feb 25, 2020
Valencia Man Arrested on Attempted Kidnapping Charges; Deputies Seek Additional Victims
Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s deputies arrested a 40-year-old Valencia man for investigation of attempted kidnapping and multiple counts of annoying or molesting a child under the age of 18.
Tuesday, Feb 25, 2020
Two Electrical Vault Fires Cause Power Outage in Canyon Country
Two electrical vault fires broke out late Tuesday morning, resulting in a rapid response from Los Angeles County Fire Department officials.
Tuesday, Feb 25, 2020
Group of Young Adults Mistaken for Kidnappers
A group of young adults were mistaken for being potential kidnappers in Castaic Monday.
Keep Up With Our Facebook

Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
1923 - U.S. release of Charles Chaplin film "The Pilgrim," partially shot at Saugus Train Station & Newhall First Presbyterian Church [watch]
The Pilgrim
Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s deputies arrested a 40-year-old Valencia man for investigation of attempted kidnapping and multiple counts of annoying or molesting a child under the age of 18.
Valencia Man Arrested on Attempted Kidnapping Charges; Deputies Seek Additional Victims
RIVERSIDE — College of the Canyons won the 16-team Riverside City College Invitational on Monday with a five-man team score of 363, while also seeing a member of its secondary group capture a share of medalist honors.
Cougars Take Home Top Prize at Riverside City College Invitational
Trammell Crow Company (TCC) and Clarion Partners, LLC announced Tuesday that construction has been completed on all three buildings in the phase 1A of The Center at Needham Ranch, which is part of the first phase of a larger 252 acre, fully entitled site in Santa Clarita.
Phase 1 of Needham Ranch Buildings Complete
As Election Day approaches, the city of Santa Clarita wants residents to be aware that Vote by Mail ballots are a convenient and cost-effective option.
Residents Encouraged to Take Advantage of Vote by Mail
Formerly the "Career Fair," the CalArts Opportunities Festival (Opp Fest) now includes employers offering a wide range of professional opportunities for CalArts students and alumnx such as internships, full-time, part-time, freelance, project-based and volunteer opportunities.
March 11: CalArts Opportunities Festival
Two electrical vault fires broke out late Tuesday morning, resulting in a rapid response from Los Angeles County Fire Department officials.
Two Electrical Vault Fires Cause Power Outage in Canyon Country
The discussion for a proposed Orchard Village medical building development returns to City Hall on Tuesday as the City Council is expected to vote on the project’s final map.
City Council Expected to Vote on Proposed Orchard Village Project’s Final Map
A group of young adults were mistaken for being potential kidnappers in Castaic Monday.
Group of Young Adults Mistaken for Kidnappers
The Los Angeles County Office of Education in partnership with the city of Santa Clarita will sponsor the Santa Clarita Hiring Spree and Community Resource Fair 2020 to employ hundreds of members of the Santa Clarita Valley community including; youth, veterans, individual with disabilities, CalWORKS participants and unemployed adults.
March 12: Santa Clarita Hiring Spree & Community Resource Fair 2020
LOS ANGELES (CN) – Thousands of mourners gathered at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on Monday to commemorate NBA legend Kobe Bryant, his 13-year old daughter Gianna and seven others who were killed when their helicopter crashed in the Santa Monica Mountains last month.
Thousands Gather to Honor Kobe and Gianna Bryant
1936 - U.S. release of Silent Era's last feature, "Modern Times" with Charles Chaplin, partially shot in SCV [story]
Modern Times scene
The city of Santa Clarita has released the list of shows and films now in production in the Santa Clarita Valley the week of February 24-March 1, 2020.
Now in Production in SCV: ‘Corazon,’ ‘SWAT,’ ‘NCIS’
Santa Clarita Public Library officials are excited to announce the book selection for 2020 is “Gods of Jade and Shadow” by award-winning author Silvia Moreno-Garcia.
Santa Clarita Library Names ‘Gods of Jade and Shadow’ Book of 2020
Minimum-security inmate Christian Ledon walked away from Acton Conservation Camp aka CC #11 on Monday morning, and California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation and local law enforcement officials are looking for him.
Inmate Christian Ledon Walks Away from Acton Conservation Camp
HOPE Theatre Arts will stage four performances of "The Amish Project," written by Jessica Dickey, at The Main in Old Town Newhall on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, April 8, 10 and 11.
April 8, 10 & 11: ‘The Amish Project’ to be Staged at The Main
SCV Water requested its customers to refrain from irrigating from February 18-22 to accommodate annual maintenance on infrastructure at Castaic Lake and received an outstanding public response, the agency reported Monday.
SCV Water Wraps Annual Maintenance at Castaic Lake
A brush fire near Lost Creek Road in Saugus prompted a first-alarm response from firefighters Monday afternoon.
Saugus Brush Fire Sparks First-Alarm Response
California Senator Scott Wilk (R-Santa Clarita) on Monday announced the introduction of Senate Constitutional Amendment 9, or SCA 9, the "Better Budgeting for a Better Future Act," calling for a two-year budget cycle.
Wilk Intro’s SCA 9, the ‘Better Budgeting for a Better Future Act’
March is National Nutrition Month, and Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital encourages all Santa Clarita Valley residents to make healthy food choices.
Henry Mayo to Spotlight National Nutrition Month in March
KHTS Santa Clarita radio station co-owner Carl Goldman celebrated his 67th birthday Saturday as he remains in quarantine and continues to be treated for coronavirus-COVID-19 at an infectious diseases hospital in Omaha.
KHTS’ Goldman Celebrates Birthday in COVID-19 Quarantine
U.S. Congressman Jim Costa (D-Fresno) has unveiled the High-Speed Rail Corridor Development Act, legislation that would provide $32 billion to fund projects in federally designated high-speed rail corridors.
Costa Unveils Bill to Fund High-Speed Rail in California, U.S.
As thousands gathered at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on Monday to celebrate NBA superstar Kobe Bryant, his daughter and seven others who died in a helicopter crash last month, Kobe’s wife Vanessa Bryant filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the company that operated the helicopter.
Vanessa Bryant Sues ’Copter Owner Over Crash That Killed Kobe, Others
Goodbye, “election day,” and hello, “election week": Along with the rest of Los Angeles County, Santa Clarita Valley voters have 11 days to cast a ballot in person in and around their neighborhoods this March primary.
SCV Voters Have 26 Voting Centers to Cast Primary Vote
%d bloggers like this: