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.
Pilot Safety and Skills,
Your mission: Fly with eight F-15s to the Philippines, rejoin, refuel with air tankers, engage an unknown number of Red Air fighters, refuel again, and then return home to Okinawa. And fly with radio silence up to the first contact with the Red Air fighters.
The Aviation Safety Reporting System is a voluntary safety reporting program that allows airmen to make anonymous reports to the government about issues encountered in aviation, with anonymity allowing the airman to be candid–even when their actions may have been a violation of the regulations.
The pilots of an Atlas Air Boeing 747 Dreamlifter en route from John F. Kennedy International Airport to McConnell Air Force Base in Wichita, Kan., mistakenly landed 8 nautical miles away at Colonel James Jabara Airport Nov. 20.
AOPA thanks our members for their continued support in protecting the freedom to fly.