Forney pilot who died lived a life of service, family says


“My father will always be remembered as someone who cared and loved people,” Benjamin said about his father Michael Lewis.

FORNEY, Texas — Benjamin Lewis says his father had been flying for more than four decades, and flying wasn’t just a passion — it was his purpose. 

He tells us the plane was an instrument his dad used to help others. Michael Lewis was known for his service in the community in and around Forney.

“He’s been flying since I’ve been born,” he said. 

Michael Lewis, 67, died in a plane crash not far from the McKinney National Airport. Gustavo Moreno, 53, who is from Royse City also died in the crash. The lone survivor was mechanic Randy Williams who is currently being treated at an area hospital.

Benjamin Lewis was holding his two-month-old son when he learned that his father was in an accident in McKinney. He says as soon as he heard he made more than 40 calls to friends and family and even his father to verify if the news was true. It was also in that moment he had a premonition or a feeling come over him that gave him some peace, no matter what the news was.

“I knew in that moment, Jesus was real,” said Benjamin Lewis.

Benjamin tells WFAA his father relied so much on his faith and, in fact, a lot of his community service stemmed from his faith. Michael Lewis, who was also a chaplain, spent a lot of time working with nonprofits in the area. His son said he would spend time with the Genesis Shelter helping women and children in crisis. He also piloted 143 angel flight missions for people needing desperate medical treatment. His son says his work in the service space goes on and on.

“My father will always be remembered as someone who cared and loved people,” he said.

But most recently, the moment Michael Lewis was most proud of was being a grandfather. Benjamin Lewis and his wife welcomed their two-month-old, Bennett, and he says the two were inseparable.

“At the end of his life was the most time we actually spent together. He would always hold on to my son,” Benjamin Lewis said, crying.

Benjamin recalls the countless flights he took with his father. Emotional, Benjamin tells WFAA those moments, including the phone calls, are ones he can’t get back.

The family wants to make sure Michael Lewis’ legacy is a lasting one. Benjamin Lewis said they plan to add ‘Michael’ to Bennett’s middle name, to honor his father.

“He was a very special guy,” the son said.