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News Alert
December 4, 2006

The NTSB has finished its on-scene investigation of a Cirrus SR22 that crashed Thursday night while on approach to Runway 18R at Charlotte Douglas International Airport. Killed in the crash of N665CD was George Vrana, the sole-occupant pilot and a partner with accounting firm Ernst & Young. Notably, the event marks the first accident at AirShares Elite, which managed the airplane under its fractional program. According to the NTSB, the Cirrus's recovery parachute and rocket separated from the aircraft, most likely during the impact sequence, yielding no early clue as to whether the pilot tried to deploy the emergency system before the single-engine airplane crashed seven miles from the airport. The Safety Board has examined the airplane's engine and is still interviewing witnesses and gathering ATC communications and radar data. A preliminary report is expected to be issued later this week. "First and foremost, we lost a fellow pilot, a friend and a member of our AirShares family," AirShares Elite said in a statement. "Our sincerest condolences are with the friends and family of the pilot. The FAA and NTSB are investigating the accident, and...we are fully cooperating with them in their investigation." An AirShares Elite spokeswoman further added that safety and training are the company's top priorities, with all existing customers required to undergo annual recurrent pilot training. New customers are subject to the company's recently approved FAA/Industry Training Standard (FITS) program. AirShares Elite said there are 50 Cirrus airplanes and 240 owners in its fractional aircraft program. In the "On The Fly" section of this morning's online AVwebFlash edition, we mistakenly identified the subject aircraft as being owned by OurPLANE, another fractional ownership program. According to OurPLANE, the company has never had an accident in its six years of operation. AVweb regrets the error. More...