SNJ Operator Warns Against Aerobatics

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Warbird Adventures is urging all owners of T-6s, Harvards and SNJs to stop performing aerobatics in the aircraft until the results of an investigation into the loss of one of its SNJs last week are released. In a statement on its Web site, the company says it will cease operations until the results are known. The SNJ, with pilot Jonathon Hedgecock, of Kissimmee, Fla., and passenger Jim Kern, of Springer, Okla., crashed a week ago in dense woods near Lake Pierce, and an in-flight airframe failure is the suspected cause. The company says it has been told by the FAA that there will be no Emergency Airworthiness Directive issued until after the laboratory review is complete. "In the meantime, as a precaution, we strongly urge all operators of T-6s across the world to not perform aerobatics or put undue stress on their aircraft until more information has been made available," the Web site states. Recovery of the wreckage was difficult because of the remote location and because the impact created a crater and some parts were buried.