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Mon, May 21, 2007

Close Call For Aerobatic Pilot At Alabama Show

Biplane Lands Hard On Runway

A stunt pilot survived a close call at at the Fairhope Festival of Flight in Alabama this weekend. Robbie Grice was nearing the end of his demonstration at the show Saturday, when his "Alley Cat" modified Ag-Cat biplane impacted the runway hard on its landing gear.

This was no mere hard landing, however. A witness to the accident told ANN Grice was performing the final maneuver of his routine -- an inside loop, with rollout to landing -- and it appeared the plane may have come out of the loop too low to the ground. The plane impacted flat on its gear, and skidded to a stop at the edge of the runway.

It appears the plane stayed upright through the mishap. Grice was able to exit the aircraft, and held up both arms up to the crowd to signify he was okay... but fell to the ground after walking a short distance from the wreckage. He was taken to a local hospital for observation, and was listed in fair condition Saturday night.

After the wreckage was taken away, the air show continued at Fairhope Municipal Airport without incident.



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