By Mary Grady, Contributing editor
Bernard Laferriere, 56, president of Explorer Aeronautique, was killed on Tuesday when he crashed while en route to Trois-Rivieres, Quebec, in an Ecoflyer, the pudgy-looking LSA that his company has been developing. The Ecoflyer, which aims to be a kind of flying RV, was hard to miss at Sun 'n Fun all last week, on display close by the main entrance to the show, and it also attracted attention at its debut at EAA AirVenture last summer. Laferriere had stopped in Norwich, N.Y., on Monday afternoon, where he fueled the airplane and took a two-hour break, telling airport workers that he had landed because of "abnormal wind conditions" aloft. His next stop was Quebec, but he never arrived, and a land owner found the wreckage near Hamilton, N.Y., on Tuesday afternoon, about two miles from the nearest road. The airplane was broken into several pieces.
The company has delivered several copies of the Ecoflyer as E-LSA kits, and has been working on plans to offer a factory-built S-LSA version by sometime this year. Laferriere proudly gave a tour of the unusual Ecoflyer to AVweb staffers at AirVenture last summer, click here for the video. Explorer Aeronautique also sells the Private Explorer kit airplane, a flying camper with its own bed, galley, and a shower onboard.