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Homebuilt Airplane Crash



 
 
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Old November 15th 04, 04:17 AM
Harry O
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Default Homebuilt Airplane Crash

This was in the newspaper today. No information on the airplane, but it was
supposed to be a homebuilt. I have heard it was a BD-4, but no
confirmation. I used to fly out of the North Omaha Airport. It is
relatively short (2,500 feet from memory) with high trees off the south end.
The north end was a cornfield, but the previous owners of the airport did
not get along with the farm owner. The farm owner put a fence of railroad
tie uprights close together and put many rows of barbed wire between them
right on the north end of the runway. I don't know how the present owners
are with the farm owner. Also, the son of the former owner of the airport
died in a similar accident 15 or 20 years ago. Stall - spin -crash. The
sold out shortly afterward to someone who wanted to build a housing
development on the site. Then he found out that he could not afford to get
a sewer there. So it is still an airport.


Richard Hedge loved his family, flying
Family and friends are at a loss to explain why an expert pilot died in a
weekend crash of his single-engine plane in north Omaha.

For the past 10 years, retired Air Force Col. Richard "Dick" Hedge had flown
his homebuilt experimental aircraft - described by friends as being similar
to a Cessna - at the North Omaha Airport. Around 3 p.m. Saturday, Hedge,
69, was killed when the plane crashed into a farm field about 200 yards
north of the runway. The airport is near 72nd and Northern Hills Drive

It may take at least a month before the cause of Saturday's crash is known,
said Keith Edquist, who owns the airport. The National Transportation Safety
Board is investigating.

"Dick was a terrific guy. I've flown with him on a couple occasions,"
Edquist said Sunday from Arizona. "He was a terrific resource for other
pilots."

The NTSB will investigate several factors - the plane's condition, fuel,
weather conditions and Hedge's possible physical ailments - as it determines
the cause of Saturday's fatality.

Howard Beals, who lives near the airport, said he saw the plane's tail go
down before it crashed into the field.

"I'm convinced it was mechanical," said Hedge's best friend Reg Urschler, a
retired Air Force general and fellow pilot.

Urschler and Hedge met more than 40 years ago in Alaska during a classified
military assignment, Urschler said Sunday.

"Dick was the most careful and conscientious pilot I've ever known,"
Urschler said. "That's why we can't understand this. It had to be something
with the plane."

Hedge, of Bellevue, had a wealth of knowledge about aircraft and flying,
said fellow pilot Richard Jeffries. He and a few other North Omaha Airport
pilots met for lunch Saturday as part of their regular ritual.

Hedge belonged to several flying clubs and regularly attended the annual
Experimental Aircraft Association convention in Oshkosh, Wis.

"He was an excellent pilot," Jeffries said. "He was very safe. He had so
much experience of flying in the service."

Above his love of flying, Jeffries said, was his love of his wife, family
and friends.

Hedge and his wife, JoAnne, married in 1957. They have one son, who lives in
Arkansas, and two daughters, who live in Oklahoma City.

"He's a man who was always cheery, very proud of his family and always had a
sweet word to say," Jeffries said. "He was crazy about his wife."

Hedge's death will be felt by thousands of military veterans across the
globe, Urschler said. During the early 1980s, Hedge commanded an Air Force
wing in England.

In the service, Hedge was a great motivator and teacher, his longtime friend
said. Hedge grew up west of Indianapolis and graduated from Indiana
University before joining the Air Force. He spent several tours of duty at
Offutt Air Force Base before retiring.

"He was a guy who stood up for his troops," Urschler said. "As a commander,
a lot of people had a great respect for him. He was a tremendous example for
young pilots to emulate, very tactful yet very honest in the way he'd say
things."

Funeral arrangements were pending Sunday.

"That man could do about anything," Urschler said. "He could do electric,
plumb, brick lay, concrete, fix snow blowers and of course, he just loved
airplanes and flying







  #2  
Old November 15th 04, 04:40 AM
Morgans
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Default


"Harry O" wrote

Richard Hedge loved his family, flying
Family and friends are at a loss to explain why an expert pilot died in a
weekend crash of his single-engine plane in north Omaha.


Condolences from all of us.

Clear skies, and tailwinds, forever.
--
Jim in NC


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