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Fri, Jun 06, 2003

Mike Jacober, Sport Pilot Advocate, Lost In Trike Crash

Accident Takes One of Sport Aviation's Most Aggressive Advocates

ANN has learned that tragedy has struck the sport aviation community, with the loss of trike pilot and sport pilot advocate, Mike Jacober.

Jacober, and an as-yet-unidentified student, were killed while on an instructional flight Thursday afternoon, June 5, near Birchwood Airport (AK).

While there are no details as to the cause of the crash at this time, authorities indicated that the aircraft burned at the crash site.

Jacober was one of the sport aviation community's shining lights and was described by friend and pilot, Rob Stapleton, as "the one guy I was most convinced had been a bird in a former life."

Jacober always stressed safety in the air, as well as on the ground. He conducted a number of highly professional ground schools, was a regular sight at local FAA briefings, and was a USUA AFI who had given nearly 8,000 hours of dual flight instruction. The owner of Arctic Sparrow Aircraft, Inc., Mike was also an EAA Technical Counselor and Flight Advisor.

Students, pilots and officials credit Jacober with building a respectable flight school, which increased the popularity of sport aviation in Alaska.

While flying in the Alaska Range in 1993 Jacober is credited for making a flight over 20,320 foot Mt. McKinley, and is still the only person to do so. Mike made the flight in an Antares MA-31 with a Rotax 503 engine. This flight and a trip following the Iditarod sled dog race from Anchorage to Nome in Ultralight aircraft lead Jacober to develop an in-flight mixture control device for two cycle engines.

Mike was a particularly good friend to those of us at ANN... who were planning to take him up on an invite to see Alaska by trike in the not too distant future. That would have been an amazing adventure. Mike was a helluva guy, and truly one of the most unselfishly motivated flyers we've seen. He will be missed, greatly, by those of us at ANN and we extend our condolences and prayers to Mike's family and friends. [ANN Thanks Rob Stapleton for the amazing photos (copyright 2003) of Mike that are included in this story...]

FMI: www.arcticsparrow.com, Jacober-Sport Pilot Interview

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