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  #1  
Old 07-21-2005, 12:32 PM
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John Slade John Slade is offline
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Default VariEZ fatal Crash

Bulent just posted this:

This morning I was informed that my friend Glenn Saunders has crashed and was killed in his VEZ. He was on route from Ft Lauderdale to British Columbia to visit his inlaws and meet his wife and young kid there.
He was a very nice guy and all of his friends are in shock. He left on Tuesday at 5am and called me later from Kansas. I have no other details.
Bulent

I met Glenn a few month's ago when I flew in to Ft. Lauderdale. See picture. Bulent says there was black smoke trailing from the VariEZ before it crashed.

Very sad.
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Last edited by John Slade : 07-21-2005 at 11:33 PM. Reason: Correction off pilot's name spelling
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  #2  
Old 07-21-2005, 04:02 PM
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Always a shame to hear...I'm sorry I did not know him.

My sympathy goes to all his friends and especially his family.
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  #3  
Old 07-21-2005, 05:37 PM
rutanfan rutanfan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Slade
This morning I was informed that my friend Glenn Sounders has crashed and was killed in his VEZ. (
Slade. That’s horrible!

Could I just get one clarification? I have been in communication for several years with a gentleman named Glenn Saunders (but not Sounders). He flies a Varieze with a 914 and an IVO prop. He’s based in Fort Lauderdale Florida. I’m certain that his name is ‘Saunders’ and not ‘Sounders.’ Is this the same person?
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  #4  
Old 07-21-2005, 06:13 PM
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Sounds like it. This aircraft was based at FEX. I expect the spelling of the name is a typo.
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  #5  
Old 07-21-2005, 08:07 PM
rutanfan rutanfan is offline
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Ug. I feel like I’ve just been punched. I still don’t want to believe it. Do you know if he worked at the Rotax rep. ‘Kodiak?’
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  #6  
Old 07-21-2005, 09:30 PM
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I had the pleasure of sitting next to him at the cozy dinner two years ago. Very nice guy and a big fan of the MKIV.

Our prayers goes out to his family
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  #7  
Old 07-21-2005, 11:31 PM
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Quote:
Glenn Saunders (but not Sounders). He flies a Varieze with a 914 and an IVO prop.
I just confirmed with Buly. He did misspell the name. It's Glenn Saunders. Sorry. I don't now where he worked. Apparantly he gave Buly's wife a ride in VariEZ a few weeks ago.
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  #8  
Old 07-22-2005, 12:07 PM
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Sorry to say, this happened just south of me about 200 miles. Here are the newspaper reports. I'll try to follow up on the TSBs investigation when it's available.

__________________________________________________ _______________

He almost made it

36-year-old from florida en route to vernon to visit his wife, daughter

By DELON SHURTZ

Lethbridge Herald

A pilot who died in a fiery plane crash Wednesday was trying to return to the Lethbridge County Airport when his kit-built VariEze aircraft went down only minutes after taking off.

"He tried to make it back and couldn't," said Ron Singer, spokesman for Nav Canada, which provides navigation services at the airport.

Singer said Glenn Saunders, 36, radioed the airport his engine was on fire and he was turning around. He crashed about 3:30 p.m. just short of his goal, on a gravel road northwest of the airport.

"Our flight services station did receive a distress call and we passed it on to the fire department," Singer said.

The pilot's brother, Mike, who lives in Westford, Mass., said Saunders was flying from his home in Oakland Park, Fla., to Vernon, B.C. where his six-year-old daughter and wife were visiting her family.

"He was on the last leg of his trip," Mike said.

He said his brother had been flying for about 15 years and was a certified aviation mechanic and airframe specialist. He bought the airplane used but installed a Rotax 914 supercharged engine, a type he had worked on many times before.

The aircraft was similar, although not identical, to one being piloted by country singer John Denver when he crashed and died in 1997.

Although he loved airplanes, Mike said Saunders' family was the most important part of his life.

"He was a great father. He was a real family man; quiet and down to earth."

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada is investigating the tragic incident and was combing the site Thursday for clues to the cause. Senior investigator Bill Kemp said his main objective is to determine what caught fire and why.

The scene shows evidence where the plane may have skimmed across a field before it flipped over, struck an embankment and tore apart on a gravel road. Fuel spilling from the wing tank, which ripped off on impact, fed the fire which had erupted.

Jon Lee, western regional manager for the safety board, said it's too early to determine the cause of the fire or crash and it could take days or weeks before the investigation is complete. He said investigators begin by collecting as much data as possible and, by the process of elimination, try to determine what contributed to the incident.

"We cast the net very wide at the beginning," Lee said.

Investigators consider whether human error may have led to the crash but they also look at environmental conditions and mechanical failure which could indicate safety deficiencies.

"We try to answer why did that aircraft crash."

The crash has caught the attention of an American lawyer who is investigating accidents in the U.S. involving small, kit-built airplanes. A Lethbridge man working for attorney Brian Goates said there have been other crashes which may have been caused by faulty mechanical parts, and he wants to know if there was a mechanical problem with Saunders' plane.

"Airplanes don't just catch fire and crash," he said.

__________________________________________________ _______________


I hate these stories. My condolences to his family and friends.

Ross
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  #9  
Old 07-22-2005, 02:12 PM
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I didn't know Glenn, but my heart goes out to his family and those that did know him. I think the worst thing I read in those articles is the following paragraph:

Quote:
The crash has caught the attention of an American lawyer who is investigating accidents in the U.S. involving small, kit-built airplanes. A Lethbridge man working for attorney Brian Goates said there have been other crashes which may have been caused by faulty mechanical parts, and he wants to know if there was a mechanical problem with Saunders' plane.
This has no place in this article.

-- Len
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  #10  
Old 07-22-2005, 02:28 PM
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You're right. This is the last thing we need in our sport. If I crash because fuel selector brand X failed, too bad for me. I picked, I installed it. I don't want someone sueing the company that made it on my behalf.

The TSB investigates aircraft accidents up here in Canada. They are the counterpart to your NTSB. Unfortunately they don't have a good database of factual investigative information like the NTSB has so it may take some efforts to get this information from them once their investigation is completed.
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  #11  
Old 07-22-2005, 03:22 PM
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Very sad news. Everytime I read about one of these accidents it makes me think about my hobby, and others people thoughts that I'M the crazy one...

In the article Ross posted they said he had an engine fire. Does the VariEZ have an easily pilot accessible fuel cutoff? I've seen cheap (~$50) halon extinguishers on the market.

Anyone care to speculate on the feasibility if one was to shut off fuel, close the naca/air scoop, then release halon in the cowl?

Also, they noted that after the crash the fuel left in the wings (which were probably full, as he just left the airport) fed the flame from the engine to the rest of the plane... Has anyone thought of implementing a fuel dump? How many gpm will an electric fuel pump give? Obviously you would want to be careful how you dumped, so as not to feed the fire in air.

I'm very sorry to hear this news... but hopefully we will be able to make our hobby safer for others.

Last edited by Scott Edlund : 07-22-2005 at 03:57 PM.
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  #12  
Old 07-22-2005, 03:30 PM
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Fires in aircraft give me the willies. I think after this accident I'm going to install a fire suppression system. I worry cruising way up high having a fire. No way you are going to get it on the ground in time if you can't put it out.

We run these in race cars with a nozzle in the cockpit and one in the engine bay. Mandated in most forms of racing now.

http://www.spectorracing.com/customer/home.php?cat=366

http://www.interlinksolutions.com/aero.htm

http://www.trackfireracing.com/
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  #13  
Old 07-23-2005, 01:36 PM
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I think you have a great idea. I just wish the sites gave the weight of the unit so I could figure out the best place to put it.
Mark
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  #14  
Old 07-23-2005, 01:55 PM
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Most of these have aluminum bottles so with 5lb of Halon, don't see total system weight being much over 10 lbs. Maybe nose ballast for a Cozy with a heavy engine?
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  #15  
Old 07-23-2005, 07:23 PM
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I heard that
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