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Replica RAF SE5a Down In Colorado

Pilot, A Former RAF Engineer, Fatally Injured In The Accident

A retired Royal Air Force engineer living in Colorado was fatally injured Wednesday when the replica RAF SE5a he had built went down near Front Range Airport in Adams County, CO.

Brian North had built the two-thirds scale replica of the WWI airplane from parts he had hand-crafted himself, according to a report appearing in the Denver Post. The 72-year-old engineer had been a wing commander in the RAF who had been decorated by the Queen, according to his friend and former RAF pilot Michael Buehner-Codrey, who had planned to fly the plane when North returned to the airport.

North had built the plane in Great Britain, and had taken it apart to have it shipped to the U.S. when he moved to Colorado two years ago. He and his wife were living with their daughter, her husband, and three children.

He had put the plane back together and had been flying it for about a month, according to the paper. He had contacted the control tower for clearance for a touch-and-go landing, but then requested a "full-stop" landing in what was described as a "garbled" transmission.

The plane went down suddenly about a mile north of the runway.

(Public Domain image of SE5a from file)

FMI: www.ntsb.gov

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