Amazing Sport Aviation Couple Lost In Powered Parachute Accident
Unbelievable.... that's the first thing that comes to mind as we have confirmed reports that both Hank (Henry) and Carole Austin, two of powered parachuting's most active proponents (and experts) were lost Friday in a PPC accident in Michigan. Two of the early pioneers in a number of sport aviation venues, Hank and Carole were reported to be flying at Silver Lake State Park when their two seat PPC went down in the evening.
The accident reportedly took place at 1800 local time in an area of the park known as "Test Hill," in Golden Township, MI. Hank (66) was thought to be the Pilot in Command with Carole flying as passenger in the back seat of the tandem vehicle. The impact apparently occurred in the area of tall dunes and, regrettably, both were killed on impact.
Hank and Carole were pioneers in both the affordable flying community as well as the hosts of one of the earliest sport aviation video programming efforts dedicated to the community. Known as 'Flightline Television' the couple produced well over 100 episodes of the series that was available on cable TV, video tape, and later offered online. Collectively; they also operated the Shelby Paraflite School, specializing in PPC training in Shelby, MI.
Hank was a former airline pilot (and had logged over 16000 hours the last time the subject came up) and also served as a reserve Oceana County sheriff deputy -- often utilizing PPCs to search for missing persons. With nearly 40 years dedicated to sport aviation, their's was a contribution that was both profound as well as hard to match. They will be missed...