Arizona plane crash kills Embry-Riddle professor, father

Captain Randall J. Lynch
Captain Randall J. Lynch

OVERGAARD, Ariz. – Authorities in eastern Arizona say an Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University professor and his father were killed when their small plane crashed, damaging a home in a luxury subdivision with a private airstrip.

The Navajo County Sheriff's Office on Saturday identified those killed Friday as 52-year-old Randall J. Lynch and his father, 82-year-old Jay A. Lynch of Port Orange.

The Sheriff's Office said the crash occurred Friday in the unincorporated community of Overgaard and was discovered when a resident returned home and found damage to the residence and the plane wreckage nearby.

The Sheriff's Office did not immediately respond to requests for additional information.

The Federal Aviation Administration said it and the National Transportation Safety Board will investigate the crash.

Embry-Riddle officials released a statement about the crash.

Everyone at Embry-Riddle is deeply saddened by the news that our colleague and former Commander of the Naval ROTC Unit at the Daytona Beach Campus, retired U.S. Navy Captain Randall J. Lynch and his father Jay, were fatally injured in an aircraft accident in Arizona on Friday.  

Randy was an accomplished naval aviator, an exceptional teacher and a much admired and caring friend and mentor to many on our campus and in our local community. 

He served as the chair and professor of Naval Science and Commanding Office of the Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps Unit from 2013 to 2016. 

Following his retirement after 28 years in the Navy, he remained at Embry–Riddle as an adjunct professor in the Department of Security Studies and International Affairs in the College of Arts & Sciences and in the College of Business. He also taught private pilot operations and unmanned aircraft systems at Father Lopez Catholic High School through Embry-Riddle’s Gaetz Aerospace Institute.

Details regarding a memorial service will be forthcoming.  We ask everyone to please keep the Lynch family in their thoughts and prayers at this difficult time.