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Man Falls From Plane After Malfunction Causes Canopy to Open, Police Find Body Next Day
After the canopy of a Zodiac 601 airplane came off, a student pilot who did not have a seatbelt flew out of the plane and plummeted thousands of feet to his death on Friday. Authorities found the man a day later.
The man, whose name has not been released, was learning how to fly with an instructor when the accident happened. They were flying in Tennessee and took off out of Collegedale Municipal Airport.
Authorities are unsure how long the plane was flying before the canopy came off, but they know the pair left the airport in the afternoon.
An airport employee, Lowell Sterchi, said the instructor landed the plane safely and did not have any injuries.
A malfunction was what caused the plane's canopy to open, and also caused the plane to nose dive.
"The people inside the plane were not wearing seatbelts," EMA director Troy Spence said. "So when they lost control of the plane, in an attempt to regain control of the plane, the passenger was ejected."
Because the deceased man was carrying a mobile phone, they were able to locate him faster.
Reports indicate that the plane belonged to Clarance Andrews, 82, and that Andrews also built the plane.
But Andrews also died in a plane crash a few months ago, and the student bought the plane from the man's family in early March.