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(From CP37, Page 5, July, 1983)

     Unfortunately this newsletter we have several bad accidents to report. As always, we publish this information in the hope that possibly it may save someone else in the future. The really distressing part about these accidents is that it appears that almost all of them have one thing in common. Low level, close proximity to the ground, high speed flying. This fact has nothing to do with the airplane. This is purely pilot. We all should be aware of this and each of us should realize that the risk of flying fast and close to obstacles is very high risk and if you continue to fly this way, it is only a matter of time before you too become a statistic.

     A northeastern California VariEze pilot and passenger were fatally injured when their VariEze crashed into trees on a ridge at 7000 feet. The aircraft was traveling upslope towards the ridge when it struck the tree tops. The engine was developing power at the time of impact. No control system failures or airframe failures were found or suspected, The aircraft had been reported to be flying at extremely low altitudes earlier.

      A Long-EZ crashed in central California. Both occupants were fatally injured. The aircraft was observed flying low down a river. As it flew over a bridge it struck unmarked power lines. The aircraft continued on for about a half mile where it crashed into trees. No problems were found or suspected with the aircraft.

     A Long-EZ flying over the ocean in Southwestern Florida crashed into the water. Both occupants were fatally injured. This aircraft was observed by several eyewitnesses to be flying at cruise speed low across the water, estimates of from one wingspan to 100 feet above the water. It hit the water and was heavily damaged. The pilot was found to have a brain tumor and had been experiencing severe headaches. It is not known however, it there is any connection.

     A VariEze in France took off from the Nice, France airport with two people aboard. The airplane climbed straight ahead to about 150 AGL turned left, started loosing altitude while continuing the left turn until it impacted the ground at a point at about midfield on a heading 1800 opposite the take off heading. We have not had much information on this, but there is reason to believe that the canopy may have been unlatched.

     Shortly before this newsletter went to press we began investigating a fatal accident in which a Long-EZ apparently struck the ground in a flat attitude, possibly from a flat spin or deep stall. Of course the results of all testing shows that a Long-EZ is not capable of a flat spin or deep stall, when flown within the allowed limits. Preliminary information shows that the cg may have been behind the aft limit. Even though this aircraft was highly modified, we are concerned that it is possible that others operating near the aft limit and with contour tolerances that degrade flying qualities from the intended and tested configuration, may also be susceptible to spins. At least until this accident is totally investigated and understood we are recommending that the Long—El aft cg limit be moved forward one inch. Also, be sure you follow to the word all information on Pages 44 and 45 of the Owners Manual