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Sting Sport Down In Piru, CA, Two Fatally Injured

One On Board Had Been Injured In An Accident 15 Years Earlier

Two people were fatally injured last Thursday when the airplane they were flying went down in Piru, CA near Whiteman Airport (KWHP). One of the people on board had suffered serious injuries 15 years ago in another aircraft accident.

Pilot and flight instructor Michael Boolen, 59, of Pacoima, CA and 89-year-old Harry Bell of Newhall, CA, were both fatally injured when the Sting Sport (similar airplane pictured in file photo) owned by Bell went down Thursday afternoon. The Ventura County (CA) Star reports that they had departed from Whiteman Airport in Pacoima, and that the flight was local.

In 1997, Boolen reportedly suffered third-degree burns and other injuries when the aircraft he was flying went down near the airport. While he survived, a student pilot and a person on the ground were fatally injured when the aircraft impacted two houses shortly after takeoff. The NTSB probable cause report in that accident cited improper use of the fuel tank selector, which had been set to 'auxiliary' at takeoff.

Boolen and Bell were reportedly friends, and had undertaken missionary flights to Mexico together. The plane went down in a citrus orchard near the airport. The NTSB did not say who was acting as PIC of the aircraft. A preliminary report is due out within 10 working days of the accident.

FMI: www.ntsb.gov

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