A pilot killed Wednesday when his experimental aircraft crashed was certifying to use the half-scale kit plane for air-show aerobics.
Jeffrey George Peterson, 41, was performing maneuvers for an FAA inspector, who was watching from the ground, when the Focke-Wulf 190 plunged from the sky 10 miles southwest of Salt Lake Airport No. 2 near U-111.The single-seat airplane, a replica of a German war plane, was descending when the canopy separated from the craft and the Bennion pilot was unable to maintain altitude, FAA spokesman Mitch Barker said. A witness at the scene said he saw the right wing fall off and the plane dive to the left.
Before crashing, Peterson reported his plane "fluttered," Barker said. The information was relayed to investigators by a pilot who was flying nearby in a separate airplane.
Peterson was a certified aerobics pilot and was getting "checked out" to fly the FK-190 in air shows when he crashed, West Jordan Police Capt. B.J. Snooks said.
The case had been turned over to the National Transportation Safety Board Thursday for investigation.
Due to the plane wreckage and the pilot's death, "this particular one is going to take a little more time," said NTSB air safety investigator Debra Eckrote. Specifically, investigators will piece through the wreckage to determine what structural damage may have contributed to the crash.
Peterson's death Wednesday makes him the third Utah pilot to die in an experimental aircraft in the last eight months.
In November 1993, David Ernest Bird, 42, Axtell, fell 150 feet when his experimental helicopter lost power near the Salina-Gunnison airport. On May 17, Floyd Hallstrom died in St. George during the maiden flight of his single-engine BD-5 experimental aircraft. He had just taken off from the St. George airport when the engine stalled and he circled to land again. The plane lost altitude and barreled into the side of Black Mountain, killing the pilot.