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Aircraft Kills Jogger

by John M. White |

In a bizarre twist of fate that aviation lawyers will love, the pilot of a Lancair aircraft made an emergency landing on a beach at Hilton Head, S.C. around 6pm Monday evening and inadvertently struck a jogger running along the beach from behind, killing the jogger. The Lancair IV-P aircraft is a home-built kit aircraft powered by a Continental 350 hp turbocharged engine with 4 seats. The pilot was en route from Orlando, FL to Norfolk, VA with 1 passenger on board when the engine began to leak oil. No doubt aviation Attorneys will have to sort this one out with a kit aircraft and innocent victim.
At some point during the flight and subsequent landing the propeller departed the aircraft, and the oil slick on the windshield obscured forward vision for the pilot as he attempted an emergency landing on the beach. The jogger was listening to his iPod as he jogged along the beach and was unaware of the drama unfolding above and behind him. The jogger was identified as a 38 year old salesman from Woodstock, GA. According to a spokesperson for the Hilton Head Fire and Rescue Division the pilot had no power, no engine and the windscreen was obstructed with oil from the engine. The aircraft glided silently to the beach and skidded across the sand and into the water. Both the pilot and the passenger emerged from the aircraft uninjured but shaken up. Susan Williams, communications manager for the Fire and Rescue Division, said "To say it was a freak accident is kind of an understatement." The NTSB will conduct an investigation into the accident, but you can bet that aviation attorneys will be entering the fray soon enough. Because the aircraft is a home-built kit there will be a lot of issues to review by aviation attorneys as they try to understand how the young jogger wound up dead from a disabled aircraft making an emergency landing on a beach. Until next time keep your wings straight and level Hersch! JetAviator7 Mishaps are like knives that either serve us or cut us as we grasp them by the blade or the handle. — James Russell Lowel

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