After more than 20 years as a professional airshow pilot, Greg Poe died unexpectedly from an apparent heart attack, according to his official website www.gregpoe.com. Poe was 57 years old and was to fly in more than 20 shows scheduled this year - one in El Salvador and the remainder around the United States. Poe had accumulated more than 10,000 hours in more than 100 different types of airplanes.
The show airplane he most recently performed in was an ethanol-powered Fagen MXS, equipped with a highly modified, 400-horsepower Lycoming IO-540. The American made, composite airplane had load limits of +/-16 G.
According to his website, Poe recently said he “wants to be remembered as a pilot, an entertainer and someone who gives back to the community.” Poe started the Ryan J. Poe Foundation and was instrumental in encouraging children to reach for their dreams with his Elevate Your Life program, which he started after losing his son Ryan to drug addiction in 2002.
Poe died on July 24, the day before AirVenture 2011 kicked off in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, where he has performed several times in recent years. He was, however, not on the roster to perform this year.