May 20, Tamarac, Fla. / Classic Aircraft S-51D


At about 14:04 EDT, a Classic Aircraft S-51D experimental airplane registered to the company crashed near Tamarac, killing the pilot. The flight had departed the Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport at 13:49 as part of the 40-hour test period required for certification. The pilot was about five miles west of the airport when he radioed the control tower that he was having a problem raising the landing gear and he wanted to return to the airport. At 14:04, he radioed that he had lost the engine. Radar and radio contact was lost shortly thereafter. A witness in the area said he heard the engine losing power and sputtering and saw the aircraft make a controlled descent to the ground. After impact the cockpit area was engulfed in flames.


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