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The Best of the Best

John Denver :

John DenverOn October 12, 1997, Denver was killed when the Long-EZ aircraft he was piloting crashed just off the coast of California at Pacific Grove.

The Long-EZ that Denver was flying is a two-seat experimental aircraft, designed in the 1970s by Burt Rutan. Denver's particular plane, bought used, had been changed from Rutan's original published plans: The fuel tank selector valve had been moved from a location just aft of the nose gear wheel housing and between the pilot's legs to the bulkhead behind and to the left of the pilot's (front) seat. [4]

Denver apparently lost control of the aircraft while attempting to manipulate the fuel selector handle after running out of fuel in one tank. Witnesses stated that the plane made a sudden pitch-down plunge into the water, leading to speculation that, in reaching around to the rear, Denver bumped or kicked the side-stick control. The official investigation decided that he had likely inadvertently pushed the right rudder pedal trying to gain leverage to turn in his seat to reach the fuel handle.




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