Two Sport Planes Crash En Route To Sun 'n Fun

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Two LSAs were missing from show exhibits due to accidents that occurred as they were heading to Lakeland. Aviation writer Dan Johnson, who has been working with EAA on the Sport Pilot Tour, was taking off in a CZAW Parrot from Palm City, Fla., on April 2 when engine trouble developed. CZAW CEO Chip Erwin was there, and later told AVweb that Johnson tried to get the airplane down on the airport, but hit hard off the side of a runway. Johnson suffered back injuries and has already undergone surgery with a prognosis for full recovery, Erwin said. The Parrot was badly damaged. In Walhalla, S.C., on April 2, Just Aircraft co-owner Gary Schmitt also had problems on takeoff and was unable to make a safe landing. Schmitt was flying a Highlander, which was just approved the week before as an S-LSA. The aircraft was destroyed and Schmitt was seriously hurt. No further details were available at our deadline.