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Florida Fatal Accident Investigation May Focus On Fuel

Fatally Injured  53-Year-Old Inventor Had Retired At 38

The 53-year-old inventor of such products as disposable diapers with elastic side panels and an oil-spill cleanup system was fatally injured in a Christmas Eve accident in central Florida. His wife, also 53, broke both of her ankles when the Navajo Chieftain they were flying went down.

John Fetcko had developed those and other products in collaboration with another inventor and had reportedly retired at age 38, according to a report in the Orlando Sentinel. His wife Julie told her mother-in-law, who was expecting the couple for Christmas Eve dinner, that the fuel gauge on the Navajo had malfunctioned, and the aircraft ran out of fuel during the flight. It struck trees before coming down in a pasture in Lake County, FL, about three miles north of Leesburg International Airport (KLEE). Witnesses said they heard the engines stop, and then the sound of the impact.

John Fetcko's mother Pauline said that the inventor owned five airplanes and loved to fly. His wife is also a pilot. They lived at Eagles Nest Aerodrome & Seaplane Base near Crescent City, FL, 70 miles south of Orlando. In his retirement, Fetcko owned and managed Land Air & Sea Restorations, an aircraft restoration company and machine shop. Mrs. Fetcko sells real estate primarily in fly-in communities.

(Navajo Chieftain pictured in file photo. Not accident airplane)

FMI: www.ntsb.gov

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