May 3, 2013
By Jim Moore
Austria’s Flying Bulls, and the larger BD-5 community, are mourning the loss of a skilled pilot who crashed May 1 while attempting an emergency landing.
The Flying Bulls posted online a brief announcement expressing “shock and sadness” at the death of Guido Gehrmann, who was returning from an appearance in Tirol in the team’s BD-5J, a single-seat turbojet that has been an airshow favorite since James Bede developed it in the 1970s. The team, created by Red Bull founder Dietrich Mateschitz, announced Gehrmann was attempting an emergency landing after reporting engine failure, but the attempt “ended in tragedy.”
Local media published a photo and preliminary account of the crash near Innsbruck, Austria.
While the BD-5J’s history is fraught with mishaps, and its commercial viability ended with the bankruptcy of its creator, it remains in limited use around the world, including service as an airshow performer and on U.S. Air Force special missions. An updated version has been developed as a kit sold by an Oregon firm, a story told in detail in the December 2012 issue of AOPA Pilot.
AOPA Online Associate Editor Jim Moore joined AOPA in 2011 and is an instrument-rated private pilot who enjoys competition aerobatics.
Around the World Flight,
Mexico has lifted a requirement that pilots of arriving and departing private general aviation flights use a third party provider to file advance passenger information system (APIS) manifests.
Leaders of the International Council of Aircraft Owner and Pilot Associations’ (IAOPA) 73 worldwide affiliates convened in Beijing in September for their twenty-seventh biennial World Assembly to discuss challenges confronting the world’s general aviation community.
A strong cold front sweeping through England recently ignited strong showers and storms. One of the storms passing through the Midlands spawned a menacing funnel cloud or possible tornado near East Midlands airport, which was photographed just as a Ryanair jet was taking off. However, it’s not clear if the vortex photographed is an actual tornado, because there is no view of the ground. In order for a funnel cloud to be classified as a tornado, it must make ground contact. Credit: Alamy News Team, from ITV News
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