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Ultralight aircraft pilot killed in freak accident Sunday

Date Posted: 2003-09-19

A runaway ultralight aircraft took off on its own Sunday, then crashed while the owner-pilot was trying to stop the machine in Nishihara. Nishihara police say Yashutoshi Arakaki was checking the engine of the ultralight airplane he had built himself when the engine somehow started and the aircraft took off. Arakaki apparently tried to get onboard in order to stop the plane, but it took off and became airborne after about 150 meters with him still hanging to the airframe.

The aircraft rose to about 20 meters and then crashed. Arakaki was taken to a hospital, where he died shortly afterwards of internal injuries. Investigators say that Arakaki had phoned a friend shortly before the accident and explained he had unknown engine trouble that he was trying to fix.

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