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Tue, Sep 30, 2003

R.I.P. David Stits

EAA Chapter 1 President, Girlfriend Killed in Crash

David Stits, 56, and Debbie Nalepa, 53, were killed Saturday in a 1970s-build Stits Playmate (file photo, below), as David flew.

David, flying for forty years, was the president of EAA Chapter 1 at Flabob (CA), and was the son of Ray Stits, the airplane's designer, who also helped revolutionize fabric covering and painting.

The crash, into a dry creekbed near Fontana (CA) north of LA, happened just 20 feet or so from the Interstate 15 freeway. Some witnesses speculated that Stits was looking for a place to put down, but felt he couldn't safely merge with traffic. There was a postcrash fire.

Our sympathies go out to David and Debbie's families, and to his numerous aviation buddies, friends for life.

**   Report created 9/29/2003   Record 31  **
IDENTIFICATION
  Regis#: 9YC        Make/Model: EXP       Description: STITS SA-11 EXP
  Date: 09/27/2003     Time: 2355
  Event Type: Accident   Highest Injury: Fatal     Mid Air: N    Missing: N
  Damage: Destroyed
LOCATION
  City: FONTANA                     State: CA   Country: US
DESCRIPTION
  AIRCRAFT CRASHED UNDER UNKNOWN CIRCUMSTANCES, TWO PERSONS ON BOARD WERE FATALLY INJURED, FONTANA, CA
INJURY DATA      Total Fatal:   2
                 # Crew:  1     Fat:   1     Ser:   0     Min:   0     Unk:   
                 # Pass:   1     Fat:   1     Ser:   0     Min:   0     Unk:   
                 # Grnd:         Fat:   0     Ser:   0     Min:   0     Unk:   
WEATHER: UNK
OTHER DATA
  Activity: Pleasure      Phase: Unknown      Operation: General Aviation
  Departed: RIVERSIDE, CA               Dep Date:    Dep. Time:     
  Destination: RIVERSIDE, CA            Flt Plan: NONE         Wx Briefing: N
  Last Radio Cont: UNK
  Last Clearance: UNK
  FAA FSDO: RIVERSIDE, CA  (WP21)                 Entry date: 09/29/2003


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