Glasair Pilot Sues Sun 'n Fun For "Skinny Runway" Crash

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A Florida pilot is suing the Sun ‘n Fun Fly-in for a crash that occurred four years ago while he was trying to land at Lakeland Linder Regional Airport. The pilot, Terry Edward Morris, is seeking more than $15,000 in damages. Morris was attempting a go-around in his Glasair III homebuilt when, according to the NTSB, he failed "to maintain airspeed and establish a climb during an attempted go-around" and “nosed over” onto the runway and adjacent grass after stalling. Air traffic control called Morris's go-around because they observed him landing on Runway 9R instead of “skinny runway” 9L.

This “skinny runway” is the 75-foot wide parallel taxiway to Lakeland’s runway 9/27 that is used during the fly-in as a temporary runway. Morris claims in his lawsuit that the taxiway as a runway is “ultrahazardous, abnormally dangerous.” The lawsuit also states that, “only during the week of the Sun ‘n Fun Fly-In is the taxiway used as a landing runway.” Morris’s lawsuit comes two and a half years after the city of Lakeland filed its own lawsuit against Morris for his crash. The city’s lawsuit seeks $16,283.44 for airport property damage and the cost of a fuel spill cleanup that ensued after the crash. The city’s lawsuit claims that Morris was negligent for attempting to land on the wrong runway.