If you are among the faction of people crying for futuristic flying cars, you may want to wait for them to work out a few of the kinks.
A flying car has crashed in British Columbia yesterday, leaving many local authorities scratching their heads.
The car suffered a malfunction during a scheduled landing at the Vernon airport in British Columbia, and was forced to make a crash landing at a nearby school.
The situation called for quick thinking by pilot Ray Siebring.
”I experienced one of those … moments where time slows down,“ Siebring said in a phone interview with The Canadian Press from the crash site. ”The training kicked in so that we were able to operate the aircraft and move it to a safe area.
”We were able to stop the rotation, but our altitude was critically low. I gave full power to dampen the forced landing and directed the aircraft … away from the school and into some woods.”
RCMP spokesman Gord Molendyk tells the CP, the road-worthy flying car crashed near the school with the pilot and one of his relatives aboard.
“It made a circle like it was going to approach, (then) obviously something happened,” said Molendyk. “They heard it from the airport power up and then it crashed into the trees, through the fence on the edge of the school (grounds).”
Although the pilot and the passenger have both suffered injuries as a result of the crash, they are currently in stable condition and are expected to make a full recovery.
The flying car crash is among the first of its kind in Canada, with many legal experts awaiting a precedent on the subject.
The car in question, is a vehicle custom built in Florida, known as the Maverick. The Maverick uses a four-cylinder Subaru engine to power both the wheels and propeller, and can reach a top land speed of an astonishing 100 mph.
According to the Maverick’s website:
“The Maverick LSA ‘Flying Car’ is the fulfillment of a dream. It is the result of six long years of research and development by a creative non-profit organization known as the Indigenous Peoples’ Technology and Education Center . … Transportation in frontier areas is sorely lacking, where roads are expensive, difficult to maintain, and impractical. In his travels to the ‘primitive’ regions of the world, and his own youth in the frontier regions of Ecuador, Steve Saint identified many of the primary requirements for a successful frontier vehicle: it must be rugged and easy to service in remote areas, use widely available automotive fuel, and be able to fly over terrain when the roads inevitably fail.”
The vehicle currently costs $94,000, has a cruising air speed of 40 mpg, and and can reach heights as high as 10,000 feet. The vehicle reportedly lands by utilizing a parachute system to reduce speed as it prepares to touch down, and must be activated from as much as a football field away.
Although the news of a flying car crash may be disconcerting to those among us holding out for flying cars, for others, it is a boon just to know the technology is within our grasp.
Siebring defended the safety record of the Maverick.
”This is an aircraft that has been demonstrated and is airworthy so we passed all our aircraft certifications,” he said.
“We look to learn some good lessons today and I’m one of the few pilots who actually gets to do that,” he said.
”I’m not scared off on the technology behind it; how would I say, not gun shy but very sober, we will take a sober look at every aspect of this flight.”
On The Web:
Flying car crashes near school in Vernon, B.C.
Flying car crashes in B.C.