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Thu, Aug 17, 2006

Pilot Remains In Critical Condition After Mojave Accident

Plane Used During SpaceShipOne Flights

An Extra 300 aerobatic plane registered to an employee at Burt Rutan's Scaled Composites crashed Wednesday afternoon near California's Mojave Airport, seriously injuring the pilot onboard.

FAA spokesman Ian Gregor said the plane (file photo of type, below) went down while performing aerobatics.

The pilot, identified as Chuck Coleman, was pulled from the wreckage by firefighters and transported to a Bakersfield hospital, where he remains in critical condition.

The aircraft, N12DW, is registered to Coleman, who is a design engineer at Scaled. The aircraft was used to train pilots ahead of the record-setting SpaceShipOne flights, and also flew as one of three chase planes to assist SSO pilots in landing.

Officials with Scaled Composites had no immediate comment following the accident. The NTSB is on scene to begin its investigation.

**   Report created 8/17/2006   Record 1
********************************

IDENTIFICATION
  Regis#: 12DW        Make/Model: EXP       Description: EXTRA EA-300
  Date: 08/16/2006     Time: 2000

  Event Type: Accident   Highest Injury: Serious     Mid Air: N    Missing: N
  Damage: Destroyed

LOCATION
  City: MOJAVE   State: CA   Country: US

DESCRIPTION
  ACFT CRASHED WHILE CONDUCTING AEROBATICS, 2 MILES NORTH OF MOJAVE, CA

INJURY DATA      Total Fatal:   0
                 # Crew:   1     Fat:   0     Ser:   1     Min:   0     Unk:   
                 # Pass:   0     Fat:   0     Ser:   0     Min:   0     Unk:   
                 # Grnd:         Fat:   0     Ser:   0     Min:   0     Unk:   

WEATHER: WINDS 210/05 SKC VIS40

OTHER DATA

  Departed: MOJAVE, CA                  Dep Date:    Dep. Time:     
  Destination:                          Flt Plan:              Wx Briefing: 
  Last Radio Cont: 
  Last Clearance: 

  FAA FSDO: VAN NUYS, CA  (WP01)                  Entry date: 08/17/2006

FMI: www.ntsb.gov, www.scaled.com

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