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Wed, Apr 23, 2014

Airshow Pilot Bails Out After Catastrophic Aircraft Failure

Planning Ahead And Staying Safe Saves A Professional Airshow Pilot

Dan Marcotte describes himself on his website as being determined and driven with a sense of vision. His adventures have included racing cars and racing airplanes, and he now owns and operates Dan Marcotte Airshows. His schedule through August includes professional aerobatic performances at 7 airshows, or at least it did until he had to “hit the silk” last week.

According to a report on WCAX –TV out of Burlington VT, police got a call reporting that an airplane had crashed in a ball of fire on Interstate 89 north of Highgate, VT. The report also indicated that the pilot had bailed out and his parachute had become entangled with a tree leaving the pilot suspended above the ground. That pilot was Marcotte.

The airplane wreckage was on the highway but no automobiles or other persons were injured. Fire rescue crews removed Marcotte from his “perch” and found that he was, for all practical purposes, uninjured. What had started as a routine flight to practice aerobatic maneuvers for his next airshow turned out to be a matter of life or death.

Marcotte reported on his website, “As of right now we do not know what caused the issue. There was a catastrophic failure of some sort in the front of the airplane that sent parts through the canopy, wings, and tail. Control inputs were unresponsive and it quickly became evident that a landing would not be possible. Egress was successful and our Strong parachute deployed quickly and comfortably.” The website admonished, “Practice high, know your egress routine, fly safe, and never give up!” 

This sounds like good advice.

(Image provided by Dan Marcotte Airshows)



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