>>Video, photographs from Saturday’s memorial for Centre aviation legend Bobby Alvin Allred are courtesy of Brittany Littlefield.
In context: For five decades, Bobby Allred served agricultural interests in Northeast Alabama and Northwest Georgia from the air. A dedicated ag pilot, he had been repeatedly honored for his work — and his passion. Mr. Allred died Monday in a plane crash near Cave Spring. On Saturday, friends gathered at the airport for a special memorial service.
From Perry Funeral Home:
On Monday, March 29, 2021, Bobby Alvin Allred, rock steady and devoted father and grandfather, beloved brother, uncle, cousin, respected pilot and dear friend for so many, left this earth at the age of 79 as the result of a fatal plane crash.
Bobby was born in Floyd County to Claude and Willie Allred and remained a life-long resident of Floyd County, GA and Cherokee County, AL. He served in the United States Army 1957 – 60 as a ham-radio operator, spending time in Germany. He was a member of the NRA and active in several organizations that supported his love of flying and respected by many. In 2019, Bobby was presented with the Golden Gift Award by the Alabama Agricultural Aviation Association celebrating his 50th season as a crop duster pilot. He was a quiet and humble man who left a solid and honest impression on all he encountered.
Bobby has always had a passion for flying. He has often said it never felt like work because he was doing what he loved to do.
Bobby was preceded in death by his parents, Claude and Willie Allred, and his granddaughter Annsleigh Otting. He is survived by his children, grandchildren, two sisters and a brother, along with many adoring cousins, nieces, and nephews. He was loved and respected all that met him. He will be deeply missed and always remembered.
A Memorial gathering drop-in/fly-in was held at Centre-Piedmont Regional Airport on Saturday. At the family’s request, please do not send flowers or contributions. They ask that you just keep his memory strong.
From the FAA:
A single-engine Aviat Husky A-1 crashed in a field near Cave Springs, Ga., Monday around 6 p.m. Only the pilot was aboard… The FAA and NTSB will investigate…The NTSB will be in charge of the investigation and all updates. (National Transportation Safety Board).
Bobby Allred, 79, of Centre, Ala., has been identified as the pilot of the plane that crash near Cave Spring Monday evening, according to Floyd County Coroner Gene Proctor.
Allred, who took off from his private airstrip in Centre, apparently clipped some power lines, Proctor said. Photos from the scene show an almost nose-first landing.
The pilot apparently died from blunt force trauma, Proctor said, adding he declared him dead at the scene at 6:30 p.m. The body will be sent to the GBI crime lab for an autopsy.
Proctor, who was still at the scene at 9:15 p.m., said the FAA investigators had just arrived.
Allred was the subject of a story on agricultural aviation in 2019 by AgAvaiation.com. He had just marked 50 years in the business and talked about how it had changed since 1969. One outtake:
“He still flies a Cessna AGwagon and has been a one-plane operation for about 30 years. The smaller ag aircraft is well-suited for treating fields 20 to 30 acres on average along the Alabama-Georgia line.”
He also was profiled in a 2001 article in the Rome News-Tribune (click here). Of note, the writer was Chris Fincher, now a sergeant with the Floyd County Police Department and the officer charged with alerting the media about the plane crash.
The crash knocked out power for more than 1,700 customers in Cave Spring but was restored later in the evening.
Media release: Floyd County Police are securing a perimeter around a cleared ravine where a single-engine plane crashed outside of Cave Spring on Davis Road Monday evening.
The Federal Aviation Administration has been notified and is expected to be on scene in a few hours. The FAA will have charge of the investigation. The Floyd County Coroner will release the name of the single occupant after proper death notification has been made to family.
Rescuers were dispatched to the 1400 block of Davis Road around 5:45 p.m. on Monday. A witness observed the plane and reported the crash. This area is less than a mile outside of the Cave Spring city limits.
A fire burning about 100 yards from the airplane is the result of downed power lines. Georgia Power has been notified and is on scene. All utility lines in the area are considered to be live at this time and should be avoided.
Residents who live in the area of Cave Spring have reported seeing the plane over the weekend and also earlier on Monday. Witnesses who saw the plane before the crash reported no obvious difficulty.
Davis Road will be closed in the area until the investigation here is complete.