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Fri, Nov 02, 2018

Two Fatally Injured In Sebring Gyroplane Accident

Aircraft Went Down In A Retirement Community

Two men were fatally injured and another person on the ground was hospitalized with burn injuries when an experimental gyroplane crashed into a mobile home in Sebring Tuesday, Oct. 30.

The accident happened just before 2:50 p.m. and claimed the lives of pilot Christopher Lord, 45, and passenger Christopher Brugger, 52. Lord was flying Brugger to an airport in Manatee County after taking off from the Sebring Regional Airport. Both men were killed on impact.

Lord was the owner of Gyroplaneguy, Inc., which is based at the Sebring Regional Airport. According to the company website, Lord was a “pilot, instructor, examiner, test pilot. Chris has flown many aircraft to include fixed wing, helicopter, powered parachute, weight shift trike, and thousands of hours in over 34 models of gyroplanes. Chris has trained and examined hundreds of students and has touched nearly every state traveling across the USA, Chris is the CEO of Pictaio, Inc. (Mobile scanning LiDAR solutions), director of Pictaio Aerospace, LLC (Gyroplane training), and CEO of Gyroplaneguy Inc.”

Witnesses said the aircraft was in some kind of distress before it clipped a power line and crashed into a mobile home at 2003 Caribbean Road in the Sebring Falls Retirement Subdivision. Luckily, nobody was home at the time. A man working on a home next door suffered burns to his arm and leg and was transported to the hospital. One of the adjacent homes suffered heavy damage to one side, while the home on the other side had cosmetic damage. Other than the workman, both of the adjacent homes were unoccupied at the time of the crash.

The first unit, an ambulance, arrived on scene three minutes after being dispatched, and a DeSoto City Volunteer Fire Department truck was on scene two minutes after that, but by then the home was engulfed in heavy flames.

The Highlands County Sheriff’s Office will handle the death investigations, while the investigation of the crash will be conducted by the FAA and the NTSB.

(Image provided with Highlands County Sheriff's Office news release)



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