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Tue, Apr 27, 2004

Former Judge Dies In Lancair Accident

Disappeared From Radar In Heavy Weather

A former Illinois state judge was killed over the weekend when his Lancair Legacy went down in heavy weather near Memphis (TN).

Eldon Wendell Durr was 66 years old. He had retired from the bench in 1999 after presiding over a Madison County (IL) court for 16 years.

The FAA called the Shelby County (TN) Sheriff's Office Friday morning to say controllers had lost touch with Durr's aircraft just as a strong thunderstorm passed through the area. Helicopters from the Memphis Police Department and a local television station located the wreckage about 25 miles east of Memphis, according to a sheriff's spokesman.

Madison County Associate Judge Barbara Crowder told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch Durr was "one of the happiest retired people" she ever met. "He built his own plane and lived on a runway. He flew for years. That was his big hobby. It's just a tragic, tragic thing."


FAA Preliminary Accident Report

IDENTIFICATION
  Regis#: 511WD        Make/Model: EXP       Description: EXP- LANCAIR LEGACY
  Date: 04/23/2004     Time: 1458

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

LOCATION
  City: MEMPHIS                     State: TN   Country: US

DESCRIPTION
  ACFT ENCOUNTERED WEATHER 25 NE OF MEM. MEM APPROACH LOST RADIO AND RADAR
  WITH ACFT. WRECKAGE WAS LOCATED 25MI NE MEMPHIS, TN.   3517.09N/8933.24W.
  THE PASSENGER IS REPORTED FATAL. MEMPHIS, TN

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

WEATHER: SPECI KMEM 231457Z 33009G22KT 25M RA BR BKN010 BKN 030 OVC039              
                                                                                    
 

                                                       

OTHER DATA
  Activity: Unknown      Phase: Cruise      Operation: General Aviation

  Departed: 664                         Dep Date:    Dep. Time:     
  Destination: ST LOUIS REGIONAL AI     Flt Plan: IFR          Wx Briefing: Y
  Last Radio Cont: 1458Z 24 NE MEM
  Last Clearance: 1456Z ALTITUDE DEV APPROACH

  FAA FSDO: MEMPHIS, TN  (SO25)                   Entry date: 04/26/2004

FMI: www.ntsb.gov

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