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Hurrying To Oshkosh, Never Arriving

The crash of a Zenith LSA in Missouri shows how multiple factors can come together to create a disastrous outcome.

From the NTSB’s official docket of the crash of a Zenith LSA in 2017 after the plane, flown by a VFR-only pilot, according to the NTSB, inadvertently entered an area of IMC on a day of widespread instrument flying conditions.

In July 2017, after flying for about 12 minutes over Missouri, a Zenith Light Sport Aircraft crashed while turning back to the airport from where it had just departed. The 41-year-old pilot and his wife were both killed in the crash.

The pilot was a passionate outdoorsman, loving every sport he participated in. The list included motocross racing, hunting, skiing, scuba diving, skydiving and flying powered parachutes. In fact, most of his flight experience was in motorized parachutes, a glorious way to experience the air and slowly unroll- ing landscapes below. He had logged 162 hours in his Pegasus-powered parachute, cool flying that was seen in a local TV news story a year before the crash. KFSM 5NEWS captured attractive aerial views 800 feet above Arkansas, with the pilot saying, “There’s nothing like it. When you’re up in the air, your troubles are behind you, you get rid of the day, you’re just free.”

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