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Archive for Sunday, August 27, 2006

Clues sought in glider wreck

August 27, 2006

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— Aviation investigators are trying to determine what caused a single-seat aircraft to crash shortly after takeoff at Jabara Airport Friday, killing the pilot.

Police haven't identified the pilot.

According to witnesses, the aircraft took off at about 4:30 p.m. and began banking to the east when it went nose first into the ground, coming to rest 100 feet from the end of the runway.

Wichita Police Capt. Darrell Haynes described the aircraft as a motorized sailplane.

The plane uses an engine to take off and gain altitude and then glides back to earth.

A broken propeller indicates the motor was running at the time of the accident, Haynes said.

The FAA said it is investigating the accident and will turn over its evidence to the National Transportation Safety Board, which will rule on the cause.

John McMaster, owner of the Wichita Glider Port, said the crash may have been caused by mechanical failure.

"It's a sad day for everybody who loves flying," he said.

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