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Fri, Jul 29, 2005

Sportsman 2+2 Down, Pilot Lost

Aircraft Crashes At Wautoma, WI, During Video Shoot

A Glasair Aviation Sportsman 2+2, N105TW,  crashed in Wautoma, Wisconsin shortly before 9:40 AM Wednesday, during a video shoot for the Outdoor Channel's Wings to Adventure series.

The red and white factory Sportsman demonstrator (file photos below) appears to have impacted violently -- the robust steel cabin cage of the Sportsman appears crushed -- and most of the cabin was subsequently consumed by postcrash fire.

Witness Carolee Primising told the Oshkosh Northwestern that she heard "a roar and a big boom when it hit the ground." She didn't see the crash, but the noise made her look up. Then the plane burst into flames. Her husband Mike Primising called 911. The plane was completely afire by the time rescuers arrived.

The local authorities in the town and county of Wautoma have handed off the investigation to the National Transportation Safety Board.

It has been confirmed that the film crew captured video of the mishap. They spoke to authorities, but did not speak to other media. The pilot was confirmed as Michael Crowell, (age unknown, though a friend reported him to be in his 50s), the highly respected President of Washington State's Mission Aviation Training Academy and was reported by a number of sources as an experienced and expert aviator. One witness reported the aircraft to be involved in a stable downwind leg when it slowly rolled left and descended until impact. No attempt to recover the aircraft was reportedly observed prior to the crash.

ANN has learned that there will be a memorial service Sunday, July 31st, at 3:00 PM at Smokey Point Community Church in Arlington, WA.

The Sportsman 2+2 is a popular expanded version of the GlaStar sport plane. It is built from a kit provided by Glasair Aviation and is prized for its versatility and cargo-carrying capacity. It can be fitted with taildragger or trigear, and straight or amphibious floats. It is particularly well-known for its forgiving handling qualities and excellent performance.

The Sportsman was introduced at Airventure 2003. The designers, Ted and Tom Setzer, explained that the airplane was designed around the lifestyle of avid outdoorsman Ted. The machine has been featured in Cabela's hunting and fishing oriented catalogs, with an impressive pile of the gear it can carry.

** Report created 7/28/2005 Record 1 **
IDENTIFICATION
 Regis#: 105TW Make/Model: GLAS Description: Glasair
 Date: 07/27/2005 Time: 1450
 Event Type: Accident Highest Injury: Fatal Mid Air: N Missing: N
 Damage: Destroyed
LOCATION
 City: WAUTOMA State: WI Country: US

DESCRIPTION
ACFT CRASHED UNDER UNKNOWN CIRCUMSTANCES, THE ONE PERSON ON BOARD WAS FATALLY INJURED, WAUTOMA, WI

INJURY DATA Total Fatal: 1
 # Crew: 1 Fat: 1 Ser: 0 Min: 0 Unk:
 # Pass: 0 Fat: 0 Ser: 0 Min: 0 Unk:
 # Grnd: Fat: 0 Ser: 0 Min: 0 Unk:
WEATHER: METAR AUTO 1714592 36003KT 10SM CLR 18/08 A3013
OTHER DATA
 Departed: Dep Date: Dep. Time: Destination: Flt Plan: Wx Briefing:
 Last Radio Cont: Last Clearance:
 FAA FSDO: MILWAUKEE, WI (GL13) Entry date: 07/28/2005

FMI: www.airventure.org, www.ntsb.gov, www.glasairaviation.com, www.mata-usa.org

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