"Some Troubleof a SeRRious nature" star pilot, Joseph O. Tobul was killed Sunday November 10th when his World War II-era fighter plane crashed during a Veterans Day Air Show.
Tobul, 68, of Santee, SC died when his F4U Corsair came down in some woods in southeast Columbia. Witnesses said the plane was flying in formation with other aircraft when smoke began to trail from the speeding fighter. The planes were going to fly over the Dorn VA Medical Center, a tribute Tobul thought up years ago for the disabled veterans who couldn't attend the air show.
Tobul's son, Jim, and two grandsons were piloting three of the other planes in the formation and witnessed the crash. Jim Tobul could see his father was having engine trouble. Using his radio, he tried to help him. But it was too late. "For him, it was an honor to fly it because it represented the heroes," said Jim Tobul, 45. "This was his true passion."
Witnesses say Tobul managed an incredible feat, steering his crippled 12,000 lb fighter away from people and homes, a act they say shows the abilities of a great pilot and the limits of man's machines. He crashed the planes in a swampy area only 75 feet from the nearest home in the Old Woodlands around 1:00pm.
Ken Breivik, the air show's spokesman, remembered the pilot, "He's a great American, great patriot, and we will miss him. ... When everything went wrong, he did it all right."
"Some Trouble ... " Director/Producer Billy Tucci stated, "My wife Deborah and I want to offer our deepest condolences to Joe's family on their loss. Joe was one of the best people I ever knew and I am very proud to have called him my friend. I had spoken him just days before his death. We talked about my newborn son, the election, and how much he loved the film. This is nothing short of devastating for my family as if we lost one of our own. We will all miss him."
Tobul was CEO of Tobul Accumulator Incorporated in Bamberg, SC and was an avid pilot who flew his Corsair in many air shows. Tobul, a former US Marine, was born in Painesville, Ohio, and is survived by wife Nancy, son Jim, his wife Beth and their sons, Jimmy and Sean.
The Tobul family has established the Joseph Oliver Tobul Memorial Fund/Celebrate Freedom Foundation in Joe¹s honor. For more information on Joe¹s life and the Fund please log onto www.koreanwarhero.com. A memorial page and video for Tobul is also planned on Tucci¹s website >www.crusadefinearts.com.