Bearhawk Designer Bob Barrows Injured In Landing Crash

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Image: Steve Craddock / WBTV News

Bob Barrows, who designed the Bearhawk line of experimental aircraft, suffered a landing accident on approach to Holly Ridge/Topsail Island Airport (N21) on Monday. According to reports, Barrows clipped power lines on approach and the Bearhawk LSA impacted the turf runway in a strongly nose-down attitude.

Photos of the aftermath show the airplane crumbled right to the firewall. According to Bearhawk’s Mark Goldberg in a forum posting on Tuesday morning, “Bob has a broken leg and broken foot, and was in surgery last night. And is bruised up. I heard the extent of his injuries late last night after surgery but no updates yet today.”

Holly Ridge airport, 28 statute miles northeast of Wilmington, North Carolina, has a single 3600-foot-long turf strip that’s bordered on both ends by power lines. The weather was good at the time of the accident, with light winds at the nearest reporting station.

Goldberg also posted that “some of the BH community nearby are offering to go get his LSA and take it home. One lesson learned is that the steel tube structure Bob designs in his planes—is a really good thing. An aluminum airplane would not have protected Bob as well.”

The Bearhawk LSA is a two-seat tandem taildragger with a Continental C-85 engine. Cruise speed is listed as 115-125 MPH with a landing speed of 30 MPH.