<VV> Corvair that fell out of the sky -

Scott Morehead moreheadscott at yahoo.com
Tue Jun 23 18:43:09 EDT 2015

 A plane built and piloted by a University of Colorado professor crashed on its maiden flight this morning near Longmont's Vance Brand Municipal Airport after it experienced engine failure.Longmont emergency crews responded to the scene of the plane crash at 8:03 a.m. today The plane had flipped onto its top in the 10700 block of 75th Street, which is just west of the airport.The Boulder County Sheriff's Office identified the pilot as Kenneth Bickers, 55, of Longmont, a CU political science professor known for his forecasting of presidential races.Bickers was not injured in the crash.Aircraft continued to take off from the airport this morning.Greg Fries lives nearby and said he had been driving southbound on 75th Street when he saw the plane lose power.“It went right over my head,” he said.Fries said the airplane hit the ground and rolled about 50 feet before it got caught in the corn furrows and flipped onto its roof.“By the time I got here, I could see the pilot already wiggling out of the plane,” he said. “I knew he was fine at that point, which is great."Longmont resident Larry Duane was a member of the ground crew for the flight and said the airplane climbed to about 400 or 500 feet, but leveled off and started to descend.“I jumped in the Jeep,” he said. “You never know what you are going to find in this kind of situation, but (Bickers) radioed his son and told him he was OK.”Duane said Bickers had built the airplane from scratch, beginning 25 years ago and worked on it heavily for the past six years. He added that they had thoroughly tested the airplane before taking it on its first flight today.“You don't just go out and fly,” he said, adding that tests had gone well.Duane said the airplane, which had a Corvair automobile engine inside, suffered a broken landing gear, but they don't yet know the extent of the damage.He said the engine quit working for unknown reasons, and Bickers tried to restart it, but focused on getting the airplane down safely, which always takes priority.Vance Brand Municipal Airport manager David Slayter declined to comment, saying the crash was under investigation.The Federal Aviation Administration has been notified.The plane remained in the field for about four-and-a-half hours on Monday until it was loaded 
http://www.denverpost.com/breakingnews/ci_28363403/longmont-crews-respond-plane-crash-near-75th-street?source=rssBest regards,

Scott Morehead
843 - 478 - 4223

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