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Father and Son Die When Kit-Built Plane Crashes in New Mexico

September 21, 2011

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September 21, 2011

An Arizona father and son died on Monday, September 19, when their small plane crashed in Socorro, New Mexico.

The kit-built aircraft, a Radial Rocket, slammed into the ground and burst into flames at about 1:15 p.m. near Interstate 25’s south Socorro exit. The men were killed on impact, and both of their bodies were badly burned.

The 60-year-old father—a surgeon in Scottsdale, Arizona—had been piloting the plane from Dallas, Texas, to Mesa, Arizona. His 20-year-old son was aboard; in addition, another of the family’s sons was killed in plane crash in 2005.

The father had purchased the plane the day before in Dallas.

The cause of the crash is unknown, though the Eastern Arizona Courier reports that the father and son might have been planning a fuel stop in Socorro.

A witness told the Courier that the plane appeared to hit an air pocket just before it dropped to the ground.

The aviation accident is being investigated by the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board.

Do you think kit-built aircraft needs to be better regulated for safety?

If you or someone you know has had their safety compromised on a commercial or private aircraft, the aviation lawyers at Nurenberg, Paris, Heller & McCarthy can help.

Photo Credit: El Defensor Chieftain

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