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Tue, Apr 30, 2024

Dragonfly Sport Aircraft Designer, Bobby Bailey, Lost In Test Flight

Test Flight Of Customer-Built Aircraft Results In Wing Failure

Bobby Bailey, a bit of a fixture in sport aviation circles for his work with the Bailey-Moyes Dragonfly (now in production with Pitman Air), has been lost in an aircraft test accident. 

Shortly after his appearance at SUN n FUN 2024, where he was supporting the attendance of Pitman, Bailey reportedly was asked to test fly a customer-build Dragonfly out of the Groveland airport in Florida. 

Airport manager, Eric Williams, a friend of Bailey's for a number of decades, reported that a California customer brought the aircraft to the field for a test flight but allegedly did not complete the wing assembly properly. “The plane was not assembled correctly,” claimed Williams in local media reports. 

On April 19th, in the early afternoon, Bailey flew the aircraft but did not see that there was a 'bolt missing in the wing assembly,' and that, “He (Bailey) could not have seen that.”

At an altitude estimated at 350 feet, the aircraft experienced a wing separation and the impact was not survivable. 

The Dragonfly has been around for decades and earned solid marks for its STOL capability as well as its suitability as a hang-glider tow vehicle where a number of these aircraft have performed admirably. Pitman is also developing the vehicle for a number of new applications... including some AG operations. Maneuverable, extremely rugged, and a blast to fly, ANN Editor/Test Pilot Jim Campbell, noted that he found the aircraft to be a pretty solid flying machine and was surprised at how the accident occurred -- and that he has never had any concerns over the aircraft's structural integrity. 

ANN extends our condolences to the many friends of Bobby Bailey... 

FMI: https://baileymoyesdragonfly.com

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