On the afternoon of Wednesday May 3, Russ McAnerny was killed at Samply Field,
AZ, when his 1-26 pitched up on tow, stalled, spun and crashed. Bob Hurni, Del
Blomquist and Harry Baldwin are assisting the FAA in their investigation.
Attached is a picture I snapped of Russ and
his wife, Bonnie, Saturday evening, April 29, and one of the runway at Samply
Field. Witnesses say his plane pitched up near the end of the macadam and
crashed in a yard.
Russ was a retired math teacher from Phoenix. He was a long time 1-26 pilot and
was signed up to fly in the Champs at Parowan this summer. He is survived by
his wife, Bonnie, a son, a daughter and a grandson. He was 71 years old.
I regret to inform the
members of the 1-26 Association that one of our long time brothers in soaring,
Russ McAnerny, lost his life in a accident during tow at Samply Field, AZ on
Wed, 4 May of this week. The tow pilot was able to land safely. The accident is
currently under investigation with the FAA. Bob, Del and Harry are assisting
the FAA in the investigation. There have been no determinations at this time
and any findings will be published by the FAA.
Russ's wife Bonnie has her family nearby since they were residents of the
I first met Russ at the 2004 1-26 Championship at TSA. Even though Russ was in
his 70's he had the spirit of a young man when it came to flying his gliders.
Bonnie was one of the crew members that provided much of the fun at the contest
with her gift/gag wine awards and wonderful smile.
Aviation is a worthy yet unforgiving pursuit. In honor and memory of Russ I
would request that as this season begins we each evaluate our gliders, our
skill level, and our excellence in flying.