AOPA pioneer Max Karant traveled the world in his Piper Twin Comanche, N13K, to protect general aviation's rights.
Karant crossed the Atlantic in the aircraft many times. He even circumnavigated South America flying to and from an ICAO meeting in Brazil, just to prove to attendees that international civil aviation was more than just the airlines.
AOPA's second full-time employee, and the creator and longtime editor of AOPA Pilot magazine, passed away in 1997. As he wished, his ashes were dispersed from his airplane over the Atlantic during AOPA's Max Karant Memorial Flight on March 16, 1997.
Now, sadly, N13K is gone.
It was one of only four aircraft lost during a windswept hangar fire March 2 at Montgomery County Airpark in Gaithersburg, Maryland, outside Washington, D.C.
Its current owner had proudly maintained his predecessor's paint scheme, still identifying N13K's pilot as "Max Karant, Washington, D.C." on the door.
Fire investigators are reportedly focusing on a portable generator that, ironically, was approved for temporary use after hangar electrical wiring was shut down as a fire hazard.
April 3, 2000