A flying car crashed in British Columbia, Canada, while attempting to land Friday. The Florida-made vehicle called the Maverick crashed into trees at a Vernon, B.C., airport. Both the pilot and passenger suffered injuries, but are expected to recover.
“It seemed there was an anomaly on our approach to landing,” pilot and owner Ray Siebring told The Canadian Press during a phone interview at the crash site. “It was just a sharp left turn that turned into a spiral, so the spiral took at least three rotations.”
Siebring’s plane is only the fifth of its kind. Working like a paraplane, the Maverick looks like a hotrod with a propeller. It has a four-cylinder Subaru engine to power the wheels on land or the propeller in the air. The FAA-certified vehicle can reach 100 mph on the ground. Its parachute allows it to take off or land on a runway the length of a football field. In the air it has a 40 mph cruising speed and get get as high as 10,000 feet.
Siebring defended the safety record of the flying car.
"This is an aircraft that has been demonstrated and is airworthy so we passed all our aircraft certifications,” he said.
He said he has been conducting a series of test flight across the Okanagan. His hope is that the Maverick will be used for medevac missions and to carry medical supplies from ships offshore to Third World regions.
“We look to learn some good lessons today and I’m one of the few pilots who actually gets to do that,” he said. "I’m not scared off on the technology behind it; how would I say, not gun shy but very sober, we will take a sober look at every aspect of this flight.”
The Maverick, developed by the Indigenous People’s Technology and Education Center, costs about $94,000. It was given a certification for experimental aircraft airworthiness in 2008.