Thu, Sep 18, 2008
Witnesses Say Plane Was In Spiral On Way Down
ANN REALTIME REPORTING 09.18.08 1730 EDT:
Aero-News has received word Cessna's prototype Model 162 SkyCatcher
light sport aircraft crashed Thursday afternoon near Douglass, KS
on what was described as a routine test flight.
KAKE-10 reports the plane's pilot was able to parachute out of
the plane as it spiraled to the ground. The pilot landed safely
about 400 yards away from the wreckage site, but was taken to the
hospital with minor injuries.
Witnesses on the ground said they saw sparks as the aircraft
fell before crashing into a bank of trees.
A Cessna spokesperson confirmed to ANN the accident plane
is the non-conforming prototype 162, which first flew in
March of this year. The company showed the production-spec
SkyCatcher at Oshkosh in July.
The accident plane had over 150 flight hours. The spokesperson
said the aircraft's structure survived the impact largely intact,
with the wing and empennage still attached to the fuselage.
It's too soon to say whether Thursday's crash will affect
Cessna's planned production schedule for the 162, which currently
calls for the plane to enter production in 2009.
ANN will update this story as more information becomes
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