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Joe Flyer2

Greg Connell - A Damn Great Pilot

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I want to start by saying that a someone very inspirational to me has died. I get teary-eyed just thinking about it.

Just so you have an idea of who he was...

- http://gregconnellairshows.com/meet-the-pilot/

- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1MiwKe11jpM

 

 

The funny thing is I barely knew him personally. I met him first at the Greenwood Lake Airshow in 2014, then again at the airshow in 2015. He was an act I particularly remembered, along with Gary Ward. They often performed together as a duet... Greg in his Wolfpitts Biplane, and Gary in his MX2 Monoplane.

 

Greg was one of the most amazing pilots I had ever seen. But on May 14, 2016, at Peachtree Airport in Georgia, everything he had done in life... all he accomplished, all the crowds he pleased... it just came to an end. Performing a stunt with his mentor, Gary Ward, a stunt likely done many, many times over, something just did not go quite according to plan. Greg crashed, being killed by the impact.

 

 

 

I recall staying up late on May 14 because of an FSX landing competition, and I was looking through news articles, when I saw news that there had been an accident at PDK airport. I browsed about it on the internet. When I saw "... pilot identified as Greg Connell", I swear my heart dropped. I put my hands to my head and said no, no, no, no. I don't know about anyone else, but he was one of my greatest idols, personally. Now that he is gone, I am left so stunned and confused as to why something so bad would happen to such a great person. I am hoping Gary Ward continues to perform Airshows. He is also one of my favorite.

 

I am also left just staring at Greg's autograph I got from him ("To Joe"), and the picture of the Wolfpitts my father and I had taken.

 

 

All I can say now is Rest In Peace, Greg. Fly free. I really miss you and hope you put on a show for the angels. I know you will.

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Never knew him, nor knew of him until seeing this post, but condolences to his family. RIP Greg. Clear skies.

 

Looking at the footage, which is turning up on youtube, his plane looked to be twitching and rolling around erratically after coming over the top after the low pass- watch the smoke trail The plane looks out of control, maybe he was fighting to get it back?

 

However, that's as far as my conjecture will go. The accident investigation people who know what they're doing will discover what went wrong.

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I definitely know the feeling. When I did line service for my flight school at Sussex airport (KFWN) in NJ, I used to do a lot of talking with the airshow pilots and loved having chats with the likes of Jim Leroy, Bobby Younkin, and Jimmy Franklin....all of which are gone now. :Broken Heart:

 

This is very sad news for sure. My thoughts and condolences to his family and friends. A terrible loss.

 

These men of daring were ALL doing what they LOVE.

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+CG_Justin I am sorry to hear that. But yes, they do what they love. I envy that. 

+HighBypass Yes, I noticed that. At the top of the half loop-type stunt, you can see the aircraft hesitate for just the slightest moment, and then he proceeds downward. It twitches a little, and then suddenly banks to the sharp right, but I think Greg immediately tried correcting it back to the left, which is also evident. But by then, I believe something was terribly wrong, and he could not pull out of it in time. I really hope the NTSB figures out the real cause of the accident. I hope they do not come to a cheap conclusion like "pilot error", because the video disputes that. And Greg, after all of this time, would not just 'error' on a stunt like that. It seems like some control surface failure or something, but I didn't see anything fly off of the plane. The Wolfpitts was gorgeous, and Greg was awesome. It's too bad things came to this. 



Joe N. 

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