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Student Pilot/Owner Thrown From Airplane In Flight During Sudden Pitch Excursion

Neither Person On Board Was Wearing A Seat Belt During The Flight

The owner of a Zodiac 601XL airplane was fatally injured after being ejected from the aircraft during a lesson. Authorities said neither person on board the airplane was wearing a seat belt at the time of the incident.

The flight originated at Collegedale Municipal Airport (KFGU) near Chattanooga, TN. An unspecified "malfunction" reportedly caused the airplane to suddenly pitch down during the flight at about 2,500 feet. The Chattanooga Times Free Press reports that the canopy of the airplane "flew open" and the student/owner of the airplane was thrown from the aircraft. The instructor was able to land the plane safely at KFGU.

Troy Spence, director of the Bradley County Emergency Management Agency, told television station WCRB that neither person in the plane was wearing a seat belt, and "in an attempt to regain control of the plane, the passenger was ejected."

Neither person has been identified by authorities, but the television station reports that the owner of the Zodiac was an experience pilot who had recently purchased the aircraft and wanted more training.

(Similar aircraft pictured in file photo. Not accident airplane)

FMI: www.bradleyco.net

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