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After retiring, pilot focused on collecting, flying vintage planes
Quad City Times ^ | 9/2/2012 | Norman Merchant

Posted on 09/03/2012 12:34:59 AM PDT by iowamark

Glenn Smith left a lucrative job at a Dallas-area technology firm for an early retirement of restoring Soviet fighter jets and flying to exhibitions across the country.

He died Saturday when his nearly 30-year-old training plane nosedived during an air show in eastern Iowa and crashed into a field, authorities said. Spectators watched the 59-year-old Smith’s plane erupt into flames, followed by a cloud of gray smoke. Nobody on the ground was hurt.

Smith had been flying in formation with other members of the HopperFlight team at the Quad-City Air Show in Davenport....

After retirement, Smith focused on collecting and flying vintage planes. He kept two rare Soviet MiG-17 fighter jets at the Historic Aviation Memorial Museum in Tyler, about 90 miles east of Dallas, museum president Carolyn Verver said...

Smith was also the newest member of the “Hoppers,” according to the team’s website. The Hoppers are a group of pilots who privately maintain and fly L-39 fighter jets at air shows and other exhibitions. The L-39 Smith flew Saturday was made by a company in the former Czechoslovakia in 1984, according to a Federal Aviation Administration registry.

“He kept it absolutely immaculate,” Ball said.

Part of the Hoppers’ mission is to introduce American audiences to planes produced and used by the country’s former enemies, according to the website.

“It is important for people to remember and for young kids to learn, so that history does not repeat itself,” the website said.

According to the HopperFlight site, Smith had been a pilot for a quarter-century and has a commercial pilot’s license with an additional instrument rating certification. Details about Smith’s flight history from the FAA were not immediately available Sunday.

A squadron of planes flew over the crash site Sunday in the “missing man” formation before the air show continued.

(Excerpt) Read more at qctimes.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; News/Current Events; US: Iowa; US: Texas
KEYWORDS: glennsmith

Hopperflight.com

1 posted on 09/03/2012 12:35:06 AM PDT by iowamark
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Video of crash:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QFXNjBEW1zc&feature=plcp


2 posted on 09/03/2012 12:39:50 AM PDT by iowamark
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To: iowamark
Please, for the love of God...Nobody post..."Well, he died doing what he loved."

RIP Mr. Smith.
3 posted on 09/03/2012 1:40:18 AM PDT by Tainan (Cogito, ergo conservatus sum)
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To: iowamark
Do any of you pilots know whether the FAA has authorized work by certified mechanics on life support equipment (that is, ejection seats)? The last I knew, pilots of these jet warbirds were forced to fly with the seats pinned or safetied. The only way to abandon a jet and live is by using the ejection seat. Otherwise, if it has been rendered useless, you are along for the ride to a big smoking hole.
4 posted on 09/03/2012 1:42:45 AM PDT by MasterGunner01
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To: Tainan

Somebody posted that about Kim Jong Il, as I recall.

I kid you not.


5 posted on 09/03/2012 2:30:38 AM PDT by F15Eagle (1 John 5:4-5, 4:15, 5:13; John 3:17-18, 6:69, 11:25, 14:6, 20:31; Rom10:8-11; 1 Tim 2:5; Titus 3:4-5)
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To: MasterGunner01
The last I knew, pilots of these jet warbirds were forced to fly with the seats pinned or safetied. ----------------- And that Ladies and Gentlemen, is typical FAA. No, no idea, as I am no longer affiliated with that POS. I wasn't aware that that was a pre-flight requirement.
6 posted on 09/03/2012 4:41:23 AM PDT by 98ZJ USMC
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To: iowamark

How much does a jet like that cost anyway?


7 posted on 09/03/2012 4:47:47 AM PDT by Hot Tabasco (My 6 pack abs are now a full keg......)
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To: 98ZJ USMC
The last thing the crew chief or plane captain does before launch is to make certain the ejection seat is off safety (and making sure it's on safety the first thing after landing).

The reason why the warbird pilots have to fly with pinned ejection seats is the FAA hasn't figured out a way to check them at the plane's annual airworthiness certification. As a result, numerous jet warbird pilots have been killed when they could not eject from their stricken aircraft. As far as I know, the FAA still does not have life support inspection and certification procedures in place. [I first became aware of this glitch in 1992.]

8 posted on 09/03/2012 5:37:50 AM PDT by MasterGunner01
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To: Hot Tabasco
Going price for a well maintained L-39 Albatross on the U.S. warbird market is $200,000 to $300,000. A good price for this high performance jet fighter-trainer.
9 posted on 09/03/2012 5:44:37 AM PDT by MasterGunner01
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To: F15Eagle

Well “The Jong-er” was doing coke and banging swedish hookers two at a time...


10 posted on 09/03/2012 9:29:26 AM PDT by paddles ("The more corrupt the state, the more it legislates." Tacitus)
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To: iowamark

Drove past the show minutes before the crash


11 posted on 09/03/2012 2:59:02 PM PDT by redgolum ("God is dead" -- Nietzsche. "Nietzsche is dead" -- God.)
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