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Mon, Jul 31, 2006

Aero-News Alert: Legend Cub Down In Lake Michigan, Pilot Missing

Search Scheduled To Resume At Dawn

An aircraft identified in media reports as an American Legend Cub LSA, reportedly heading to NE Ohio from this year's 2006 AirVenture Fly-In, went down Sunday, in Lake Michigan.

The two-seat aircraft reportedly experienced some mode of powerplant failure while flying over Lake Michigan and ditched some three miles from land. The two occupants used the sinking aircraft, temporarily, for floatation before the aircraft ultimately sank in what was estimated as 30-60 feet of water.

The pilot of the aircraft was reportedly injured in the ditching and was described as "not doing well" by the passenger when rescued by authorities. The pilot went missing as his passenger searched for additional flotation, prior to rescue. A search continued until nightfall, and was reluctantly called off until daylight.

Chicago Fire Department spokesman Larry Langford reported, "According to the survivor, the engine quit and the pilot did a great job of landing on the water."

The Cub's passenger is identified only as a 49-year-old Texas male while the pilot was reported to be in his 60s. The passenger was rescued by a US Coast Guard Auxiliary boat about 1710 local time, approximately 30 minutes after the aircraft was forced down. John Laurie, the coxswain on board the rescue boat reported that the passenger, "... was very upset. They were swimming together heading towards the shore. I believe he was trying to assist him in some other way."

According to FAA and LEO sources, the aircraft was enroute to Gary, IN, after departing Oshkosh. The final destination was to an unspecified airport near Cleveland, and had planned a refueling stop in Gary. The FAA's Elizabeth Isham Cory confirmed that the Gary/Chicago International Airport received a distress call from a plane that reported its location as 11 miles northwest of Gary.

FMI: www.legend.aero

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