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Sun, Sep 24, 2006

Experimental Aircraft Down In Missouri

Fatal Accident Claims One

A single-engine experimental Q2 enroute to a Quickie fly-in crashed shortly after departure from the Taney County Airport in Point Lookout, MO on Friday killing the pilot. FAA records indicate the aircraft was a tri-gear variant of the type shown below.

Airport officials told the Springfield News-Leader that the pilot, Thomas Currie, 48, of New Port Richey, FL landed at Taney County, about 40 miles SSW of Branson, late Thursday afternoon saying he was experiencing "pretty severe vibrations."

Airport manager Mark Parent said Currie discovered a loose prop blade and made repairs without help from anyone at the airport. FAA records indicate Currie was not the original builder of the aircraft. According to Parent, Currie discovered an oil leak while working on the propeller.

Reportedly, Currie was en route to Kansas City to pick up a friend -- the two were to attend a Quickie fly-in at Emporia, KS scheduled this weekend.

Parent saw Currie depart Friday morning between 8:15 and 8:30. A witness in a parking lot on his way to work in Point Lookout spotted the aircraft a few minutes later when the engine went silent and "all of a sudden it winged over, went into a spiral and on down."

Jason Preston, owner of Preston Aviation, who flew over the crash site early Friday said, "(The plane is) completely demolished. Unless you were looking for something, you wouldn't have known it was a plane."

Branson Police officials describe the debris field as "small" with no skid marks or signs of a fire. They said the plane's tail and wings were intact, but separated from the fuselage.

Rescue personnel removed Currie's body, but couldn't announce an official cause of death without further investigation.

The Q2 is a two-seat aircraft with a claimed top speed of 180 mph when equipped with the factory-recommended 64 hp engine. The Quickie Aircraft Corporation folded during a lawsuit filed by an injured customer.

No official cause for the accident is known at this time. Representatives from the FAA and the NTSB were expected to be on the scene Saturday.

FMI: www.ntsb.gov

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