Friday, April 8, 2016

Sonex, N97GR: Accident occurred April 08, 2016 at Jesup-Wayne County Airport (KJES), Georgia

Update: May 11, 2016

Paul made it back into the air, on a Leer Jet, no less! 

Last Thursday Paul boarded a medical flight from Savannah, GA to Milwaukee, WI. Once he landed, he was taken to Sacred Heart Rehabilitation Institute at St. Mary's Hospital in Milwaukee. 

We can't say enough good things about this facility and the improvements Paul has already made since arriving. Paul's room on the 8th floor has a beautiful view, overlooking the Milwaukee Harbor and Lake Michigan. 

Since arriving, Paul goes through 3.5 hours of physical, occupational, and speech therapy a day. In less than a week this has resulted in many encouraging developments in his recovery. When family members talk to him, he's gradually able to connect to past memories and events and respond with one word answers. He is also starting to be able to communicate lightly by writing. 

Family has been keeping him company daily, but he is still limited to having 1 or 2 people in his room at a time. 

Thank you again for all of the support for Paul! The donations have gone a long way towards paying for the $12,000 cost of the medical flight home!

The family is very encouraged by Paul's continued steps forward in his recovery. I am sure he will be in awe of the kindness and generosity shown be everyone! 

Thank you!

Read more here:

FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Atlanta FSDO-11

NTSB Identification: ERA16LA151
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, April 08, 2016 in Jesup, GA
Aircraft: GRANGER MICHAEL D SONEX, registration: N97GR
Injuries: 1 Serious.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On April 8, 2016, about 1245 eastern daylight time, an experimental, amateur-built Sonex, N97GR, operated by a private individual, was substantially damaged during a forced landing, while on approach to Wayne County Airport (JES), Jesup, Georgia. The private pilot was seriously injured. The personal flight was conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the cross-county flight that departed Vero Beach Municipal Airport (VRB), Vero Beach, Florida, at 0820.

According to the previous owner, he examined the airplane with the pilot, and explained everything he knew about its operation, performance, and maintenance. On the day of the accident both gentlemen conducted a preflight and the pilot asked the owner to go around the pattern with him a few times. The owner stated that they conducted 3 stop and go landings at VRB. After the third landing the pilot said that he was satisfied and ready to depart. The owner asked the pilot were he planned to stop for fuel and he replied he planned to stop at Vidalia Regional Airport, Vidalia, Georgia (VDI), which was about 2 hours away. The owner advised him that he typically used 2 hours as a maximum flight leg time and "the Sonex holds 16 gallons and uses about 6 gallons an hour, depending on power and mixture settings, but 2 hours of flight generally leaves about 4 gallons remaining, for at least a 30 minute reserve." The owner also pointed out that one should never rely completely on fuel gauges, no matter how accurate. He told the pilot that they had used some fuel during the flight that morning, and that he likely would not have enough to make VDI with an adequate reserve. The pilot said he realized that and would look for a fuel stop prior to VDI.

Later on that day the JES airport manager received a report that an airplane had crashed adjacent runway 29. He confirmed the registration number and contacted the authorities.

Initial examination of the airplane by a Federal Aviation Administration inspector revealed that the fuselage of the airplane was crushed. The cockpit section of the airplane was separated from the fuselage. The fuel system was not breached and no fuel was noted in the header tank. 

The airplane was recovered and retained for further examination.

Paul Laurent recovery fund:

JESUP, Ga. (WJCL) -- A small plane crashed near Jesup Airport around 1:20 p.m.

The pilot, Paul Laurent, from Wisconsin was flown to Memorial Hospital in critical condition.

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the crash. 

Original article can be found here:


The Wayne County Sheriff's Office says a small plane crashed on the edge of the runway at Jesup's airport, after lunch on Friday. 

Few details are known at this time, but we do know one person has been flown out for treatment. We do not know the extent of the injuries at this time. 

Original article can be found here: 

JESUP, Ga. – The Wayne County Sheriff’s Office says a plane crashed at the Jesup–Wayne County Airport.

One person was injured and had to be flown by helicopter to Memorial Medical Center.

No word yet on a cause or if there were any other passengers on the plane.

Original article can be found here:

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