Back in the day, April 18, 1996: Plane crash kills ex-Nebraska QB Brook Berringer, friend | National

Former University of Nebraska football player Brook Berringer died 26 years ago today in a plane crash near Raymond.

He was flying a single-engine aircraft when it crashed shortly after takeoff from a private airstrip seven miles northwest of Lincoln. Tobey Lake, 32, of Aurora, Colorado, the brother of Berringer’s girlfriend, was also killed.

Flying was a passion in the Berringer family. Uncle Willie, a commercial pilot for Delta Airlines, took Brook under his wing when Brook lost his father, Warren, at the age of 7. Cousins ​​Todd and Brett Berringer were also pilots. Todd was the flight instructor under whom Brook obtained his pilot’s license. Brook, 22, had logged 125 hours in various cockpits in the year he held his license before the crash. Lake, who had a pilot’s license with a commercial rating, had about 210 flying hours.

Berringer and Lake had flown to the private rural airstrip on April 18, 1996 for a “fun afternoon flight,” according to Harry Barr, the plane’s owner and pilot with Duncan Aviation in Lincoln.

It was a cloudless day. Winds were gusty, reported at 20 mph to 28 mph by the National Weather Service. The plane was a 1946 Piper Cub, a two-seater plane with one seat in the front and one in the back. Barr said he used it for air shows.

“Whenever he was loose and the weather was good, he would go out and ride the Cub for a while,” Barr said.

An eyewitness said the plane had just taken off from the airstrip at around 2:30 p.m. when it stalled, turned and nosedived into a field of alfalfa. Berringer and Lake were pronounced dead at the scene.

About 4,000 people attended the funeral four days later in Goodland, Kansas. Two caskets were set up in the high school field where Berringer played basketball as a student. On one coffin was a Nebraska football helmet, on the other a pile of red roses.

Nebraska football coach Tom Osborne has praised the former Husker quarterback as a man who made a difference.

“I can honestly say that no one I coached had a better character than Brook Berringer,” Osborne said at the double funerals held in Berringer’s hometown of Goodland, Kansas.

Berringer, who had come to Nebraska after playing high school football at Goodland, helped lead the Huskers to two national football championships. He was the second-string quarterback who led Nebraska to eight straight wins in 1994 while first-stringer Tommie Frazier underwent treatment for blood clots.

Berringer graduated in December 1995 with a degree in business administration. He was expected to be selected in the NFL Draft, which was held the weekend after the crash.