Fri, Mar 05, 2010
Witnesses Say The Jodel Broke Up In Flight
A homebuilt Jodel aircraft has gone down in a wooded area near
Courtenay, Canada, killing the 75-year-old pilot/builder of the
Unofficial sources identify the pilot as Bert Smit, the co-owner
of Smit Field, which is a private airport near Courtenay.
The Toronto Globe and Mail reports that the RCMP was called to
the crash scene about 6 miles west of town Wednesday. The Mounties
and the Courtenay fire department located the wreckage and Smit's
body around noon.
Smit had reportedly built the Jodel over the course of the past
six to eight months. He reportedly had about 10 years flying
experience. One witness told Canada's A News “a wing
came off” the plane during a "high-speed turn" just
before it went down. Another witness who lives in the area said it
appeared the pilot was performing aerobatics when "the left wing
just blew apart."
The paper reports that this accident is similar to one involving
a Jodel that occurred in August in Courtenay, in which witnesses
said debris was falling from the airplane as it spiraled into the
ground. That aircraft went down in a residential neighborhood, but
the pilot was the only one killed or injured in the crash. The
Canadian Transportation Safety Board found the cause of that
accident to be failure of the wing due to "wood rot and other
issues,” according to TSB spokesman Bill Yearwood.
He said while it was unusual to have two accidents in the same
area involving similar aircraft and circumstances, it is not known
if the two are in any way related.
Jodels are constructed principally of wood from plans purchased
from the company.
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