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Sailplane wing breaks off midflight; 2 killed in resulting crash

A bizarre accident has claimed the life of an elderly man and a boy in West Texas. The pair, a 79-year-old man and a 13-year-old boy, were in a sailplane, a type of glider, when one of the craft's wings broke off at an altitude of about 2,000 feet. The incident occurred shortly after the glider had been released from being towed by another aircraft to get it into the air.

The crash happened at the Littlefield Municipal Airport, where the boy's grandfather happens to be the airport manager. Officials from the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board were investigating the crash, which could take several months. However, the family of one or both of the people on board might wish to file a wrongful death lawsuit against one or more parties.

  - Article By Richard Weaver

For his part, the airport manager said the crash was a tragic accident. But investigators will spend a lot of time figuring out what caused that accident. The 79-year-old, a farmer, owned the glider as well as three airplanes. His pilot's licenses were current at the time of his death.

It would seem likely that the family of the child killed in a crash of this type might be inclined to take some legal action against either the pilot or the manufacturer of the glider. In this case, the boy's grandfather had been in the glider several times and loved to fly. The family might consult with a wrongful death attorney in the wake of his death to seek compensation for what would have been many years that have now been lost.

Source: Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, "Feds investigating fatal glider crash in Littlefield," Walt Nett, April 1, 2013

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