David Blake Haynes, age 62, of Arkadelphia, Arkansas, passed away Thursday, July 30, 2020, from injuries sustained when two SEAT aircraft collided while making a formation drop on the Bishop Fire near Caliente, Nevada.
Blake was a well-acclaimed commercial pilot who had amassed over 30,000 hours of flight time, a near impossible number. He often joked that he lived in the cockpit of his airplane. Blake began his flying career after earning his private pilot license under the instruction of his father, Bill. Once he obtained his commercial pilot license, he took a position as a crop duster for KP Flying Services out of Watson, Arkansas, and was featured on the front cover of Trade-A-Plane in February 2001.
Blake continued his career flying for Kalitta Air in Detroit, Michigan, and then returned to southeast Arkansas to run his own agriculture flying service out of Dumas. Blake’s most recent commercial endeavor led him to M&M Flight Service in Beaumont, Texas, where for the past 25 years he flew spraying timber and fighting forest fires throughout the United States as a SEAT pilot. He was well known for his skill and accurate ability to put out a fire from above. His selfless and daring role as a SEAT pilot saved countless lives of firefighters on the ground.
Blake, you were always everyone’s friend. When you walked in the room, the conversation never stopped. You always had a story to tell and always wanted to hear ours. Though your service kept you busy, the time we spent with you will never be forgotten. We will forever miss your booming voice, your jokes, and the inspiration you gave us all.
We love you.
Mom, Dad, Amanda, John, Hudson, Larry, Polly, Joseph, Paul, and Mark