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Tue, Nov 20, 2012

Sixty-Year-Old Woman Fatally Injured On Third Solo Flight

Was Performing Touch-And-Goes When The Airplane Struck A Hangar

A 60-year-old woman from Jacksonville, TX, was fatally injured Sunday when the plane she was flying went down while she was practicing touch-and-goes on her third solo flight.

The accident occurred at Cherokee County Airport (KJSO) near Jacksonville. A video slideshow of the accident posted by television station KTBS shows the airplane hanging above the ground suspended between the two buildings.

The Texas Department of Public Safety identified the pilot as Deborah Birch. Television station KDFW reports that she was taken to a local hospital after the accident where she passed away Sunday night. Her husband, Richard Birch, said that she was on her third solo flight practicing take-offs and landings about about 1700 local time when the accident occurred.

Further details are sparse. One television station reports that witnesses said the airplane appeared to "shake" just after takeoff before it went down. FAA records indicate that the airplane was a Jabiru J250-SP LSA registered to Richard Birch (similar airplane pictured in file photo, not accident airplane). The accident is under investigation by the FAA and NTSB.



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