Reel Wheels owner Peter Souchuk, 49, died Sept. 25 from injuries sustained when his private plane crashed on an airstrip near his home in Three Oaks, Michigan.
Eye witnesses said he had taken off from Redbird Fly-In retreat, banked to the right and eye witnesses said the plane dropped suddenly into the trees and crashed. The dual-prop, four-seat plane had been checked that morning for mechanical problems.
Founding Reel Wheels in the early 1990s, Mr. Souchuk currently owned a pair of RVTs, large school buses that he had converted to high-amenity production motor homes. “He really put a lot of thought in them, with so many niceties that they were a pleasure,” said production manager Margaret Bregar, who had just seen Mr. Souchuk on Tuesday.
He had swung by a project she was working on “to see that everyone was happy, or if you had problems. He was always on top of things as a way to accommodate his clients,” she said.
In 2001, he added firefighting credentials to his training and began working with Engine #127 at Midway Airport.
Mr. Souchuk attended Wartburg College where he earned an MS in medical biology in 1976. Keenly interested in photography, he documented the Trans-Canada Expedition, a three-year, 4,700 mile trek on dogsled and canoe. When he returned, he opened his F-22 photo studio. He received his pilot’s license in 1994 and was an avid flight enthusiast.
Mr. Souchuk is survived by his daughter, Anna, a Yale graduate student, his mother, Della, and companion Amelia Hochberg.