NEW ALBANY • In Northeast Mississippi and Northwest Alabama, families and friends are making plans to celebrate the lives of three people lost in a Saturday afternoon plane crash in Union County.
A memorial service for co-pilot Jarrod Holloway is planned for Tuesday at Booneville Church of Christ. The memorial service for pilot Tommy Nix and wife Merline Nix is set for Wednesday at Piney Grove Freewill Baptist Church outside of Guin, Alabama.
“They’re just good people,” said David Deaton, a Nix family friend who learned to fly from Tommy Nix 20 years ago.
Tommy Nix, 70, was well respected as a pilot and an airplane mechanic, Deaton said. Merline Nix, 69, was gracious and kind.
“When I bought my plane, I wouldn’t fly it until Tommy went through it and taught me how to fly it,” said David Deaton, who now serves as the president of the Tishomingo County Airport Commission. “Both Tommy and Merline were very special to me.”
The Nix family has roots in Belmont. Tommy Nix served as Tishomingo County Airport manager for years, and his son Terry Nix currently serves as the airport manager. In recent years, the Nixes had operated their aviation service from Marion County-Rankin Fite Airport in Hamilton, Alabama.
Visitation for Tommy and Merline Nix is set for 1 to 4 p.m. Wednesday, immediately followed by a memorial service at Piney Grove Freewill Baptist Church in Beaverton, Alabama. The family is asking for donations for the church in lieu of flowers.
A memorial service for co-pilot Jarrod Holloway will be held at Booneville Church of Christ at 4 p.m Tuesday. Holloway’s family is focusing on celebrating Holloway’s life and has asked friends to share their favorite stories about him. Visitation will be from 1 to 4 p.m. at the church.
Tommy Nix and Holloway flew the Rockwell Sabreliner 65 aircraft, a mid-size business jet, from Colorado to Oxford on Saturday carrying high-profile former lawyer Dickie Scruggs and his family. Scruggs told the Clarion Ledger he and his family had flown frequently with Holloway and that both pilots were extremely professional.
The Nixes and Holloway had left Oxford en route to Hamilton when the crash occurred between 4:30 and 5 p.m. Saturday.
On Monday, NTSB and FAA investigators were at the crash site near the New Harmony community in southeastern Union County, said Curt Clayton, Union County emergency management director.
Coroner Pam Bowman said remains have been recovered from the crash site.
The debris is spread out over about ¼ of a mile, Clayton said. The FAA investigation was largely complete at the end of the day Monday. The NTSB will continue its work. Debris clean up is expected to begin this afternoon or Wednesday.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.