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Custom built airplane kills two in crash

Many people believe that aviation accidents only cover the devastating crashes involving large commercial aircraft. However, the scope of aviation accidents can include small planes or even hot air balloons. Negligence and liability for these types of accidents can fall under pilot error, defective parts, air turbulence injuries and even injuries that occurred when a piece of luggage falls from an overhead compartment and strikes a passenger.

A recent Oregon crash of a small experimental plane known as an RV-6 has prompted many do-it-yourself aircraft enthusiasts here in Texas to take notice.

The plane involved in the crash is a popular design used by many who opt to build their own aircraft. Its popularity is linked to its ease to build and maneuver in addition to its fuel-efficiency. It is able to hold two passengers.

The crash resulted in the death of the plane’s pilot and owner, age 46, and his passenger, 45.

Details of the crash report that the plane had lost a wing as it crashed into a field. The aircraft was relatively new and was purchased by the owner within the last couple years. It had been inspected and passed all safety tests. The daughter did not know who her father originally purchased the plane from, but it was not built by him.

Representatives from the company who design the RV-6 plane kits tout that part of the allure for this particular type of experimental airplane is that it can be modified "at will." In fact, it is believed that the plane involved in this crash had been modified extensively with custom parts. Also noted is that the motor on the airplane was not one that was design for this type of craft.

At this time it is estimated that there are approximately 33,000 experimental airplanes such as this one registered with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

Source: The Bulletin, "Crash of light plane that killed 2 shocks experimental aircraft fans," Nov. 30, 2012

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