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Ferry Flight Ends In Fatal Accident

Vintage Aircraft Went Down Shortly After Takeoff From Athens, GA

Two friends who were ferrying a Japanese-built 1957 Fuji LM-1 from Athens-Ben Epps airport to Lady Lake, Florida were killed when the vintage aircraft went down shortly after takeoff from Athens, Georgia last week.

David S. Garber, 81, the plane's owner, and Scott A. Strong, 47, were aboard the aircraft when it went down, narrowly missing a house in Athens. Authorities say they were killed on impact.

A Strong family friend told the Athens Banner-Herald that Garber and Scott Strong, along with Strong's brother Steve, had decided on the spur of the moment to fly to Athens to get the airplane. They flew to Athens in the Strong's Cessna 182. Garber was acting as Pilot In Command of the Fuji when it went down. Witnesses said they heard the engine of the Fuji sputter, then the aircraft turned sideways and fell nose-first about a mile from the airport.

FAA officials moved the wreckage to a hangar in Griffen, Georgia where it will be studied.

The paper reports Garber was a retired airline pilot who collected airplanes and had built his own aircraft as well. He had performed in local air shows because of the uniqueness of the Fuji.

FMI: www.faa.gov, www.ntsb.gov

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