Skip to comments.After retiring, pilot focused on collecting, flying vintage planes
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 Smiths 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 teams 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 countrys 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 pilots license with an additional instrument rating certification. Details about Smiths 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 ...
Video of crash:
How much does a jet like that cost anyway?
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.]
Well “The Jong-er” was doing coke and banging swedish hookers two at a time...
Drove past the show minutes before the crash