June 30, Gadsden, Ala. / Aero Vodochody L39C


At 1533 central time, an Aero Vodochody L39C jet lost engine power due to foreign object ingestion and crashed on takeoff from Gadsden Municipal Airport. The pilot ejected but was killed. A witness said he saw debris in the air just as the airplane lifted off, then heard the sound of the engine ingesting debris. The witness said the airplane appeared to struggle back and forth, then it veered left and was at an approximate 90-degree angle and no more than 50 feet above the ground when the pilot ejected. Examination of the wreckage found the baggage door from the left nose baggage compartment had separated with the locking mechanism attached to the door. A fabric briefcase, numerous papers, and other objects from the baggage compartment were found on the runway near the point where the airplane rotated.


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