L-39 Crashes In Alaska, Pilot Killed

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A Czechoslovakian-made Albatros L-39 jet crashed in Ketchikan, Alaska, last Wednesday, killing the pilot. The pilot apparently ejected from the jet before it hit the ground, and was found strapped into his seat about 100 yards from the wreckage. The jet crashed into a small trailer park, causing extensive damage but no serious injuries. The pilot was identified as Stephen Freeman, 32, of San Diego, Calif. Various reports last week said the jet had been sold to an Alaskan charter company and was being repossessed; or that the Alaskan company was only considering the sale and had rejected it; or that Freeman was considering buying the aircraft and was testing it out. Freeman was a retired Marine. The Aero Vodochody L-39 aircraft is a low-wing, tandem-seat, all-metal turbofan-powered aircraft built in the 1970s. About 200 of the popular warbirds are privately owned and flying in the U.S.