In 1980, Randy Rhoads joined Ozzy Osbourne's band and made Blizzard of Ozz. During his brief career with Ozzy Osbourne, he set new standards of class and elegance to rock guitar. Much of this came from his great obsession with the classical guitar. There was never a hesatation in being able to recognize his music. Pieces like Mr. Crowley and Diary Of A Madman gave Randy a great name for himself. Randy Rhoads continued with Ozzy Osbourne to produce a second album known as Diary of a Madman.
On March 18, 1982, the Ozzy Osbourne band played what would be their last show with Randy Rhoads at the Civic Coliseum in Knoxville, Tennessee. From Knoxville, the band was headed to Orlando, Florida for Saturday’s "Rock Super Bowl XIV" with Foreigner, Bryan Adams and UFO. On the way to Orlando they were to pass by the home of bus driver Andrew C. Aycock, who lived in Leesburg, Florida, at Flying Baron Estates. Flying Baron Estates consisted of 3 houses with an aircraft hanger and a landing strip, owned by Jerry Calhoun, who along with being a country & western musician in his earlier days, leased tour buses and kept them at the Estate. They needed some spare parts for the bus and Andrew Aycock, who had picked up his ex-wife at one of the bands shows, was going to drop her off in Florida. The bus arrived at Flying Baron Estates in Leesburg at about 8:00 a.m. on the 19th and parked approximately 90 yards away from the landing strip and approximately 15 yards in front of the house that would later serve as the accident site. On the bus were: Ozzy Osbourne, Sharon Arden, Rudy Sarzo, Tommy Aldrige, Don Airey, Wanda Aycock, Andrew Aycock, Rachel Youngblood, Randy Rhoads and the bands tour manager. Andrew Aycock and his ex-wife, Wanda, went into Jerry Calhoun’s house to make some coffee while some members of Ozzy Osbourne’s band slept in the bus and others got out and "stretched". Being stored inside of the aircraft hanger at Flying Baron Estates, was a red and white 1955 Beechcraft Bonanza F-35 (registration #: N567LT) that belonged to Mike Partin of Kissimmee, Florida. Andrew Aycock, who had driven the groups bus all night from Knoxville and who had a pilots license, apparently took the plane without permission and took keyboardist Don Airey and the bands tour manager up in the plane for a few minutes, at times flying low to the ground. Unbeknownst to anyone at the time, Andrew Aycock’s medical certificate (3rd class) had expired, thus making his pilots license not valid. Approximately 9:00 a.m. on the morning of March 19th, Andrew Aycock took Rachel Youngblood and Randy Rhoads up for a few minutes. During this trip the plane began to fly low to the ground, at times below tree level, and "buzzed" the bands tour bus three times. On the fourth pass (banking to the left in a south-west direction) the planes left wing struck the left side of the bands tour bus (parked facing east) puncturing it in two places approximately half way down on the right side of the bus. The plane, with the exception of the left wing, was thrown over the bus, hit a nearby pine tree, severing it approximately 10 feet up from the bottom, before it crashed into the garage on the west side of the home owned by Jerry Calhoun. The plane was an estimated 10 feet off the ground traveling at approximately 120 - 150 knots during impact. The house was almost immediately engulfed in flames and destroyed by the crash and ensuing fire, as was the garage and the two vehicles inside, an Oldsmobile and a Ford Granada. Jesse Herndon, who was inside the house during the impact, escaped with no injuries. The largest piece of the plane that was left was a wing section about 6 to 7 feet long. The very wing that caught the side of the tour bus, was deposited just to the north of the bus. The severed pine tree stood between the bus and the house.
With the permission of Randy's mother, Ozzy Osbourne released an album in a tribute to Randy.(Shown above) It contained some of the music Randy wrote while with Ozzy as well as some studio out-takes of Randy playing a piece for his mother entitled Dee.
Randy's music was some of the most inspirational and influencial ever. It is a giant shame he had to leave us in such a manner. Randy's life and music will be remembered always to everyone who is a fan and has a place in their heart keep possibly the greatest musician ever--Randy Rhoads.