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Dec 5, 2019 - 12:08:59 PM
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1321 posts since 10/5/2006

Most of you Earl Scruggs fans know that Earl was a licensed, IFR rated pilot and flew his own aircraft to many and from many F&S appearances. He had a mishap on September 29, 1975 as described below.

Cornelia Fort Airpark Sep 29, 1975

Earl Scruggs was injured in a night landing of his single-engine plane at the airpark. He was flying solo in his 1974 Cessna Skyhawk II (N5047R) returning from a musical performance in Murray, Kentucky around midnight on September 29, 1975. On his approach descent he encountered fog and overshot the runway. The plane flipped over, but the ELT (Emergency Locator Transmitter) device in the airplane did not trigger. Scruggs remained unattended with a broken ankle, nose, and other injuries for about five hours.[12] Fearing a possible fire, Scruggs was able to crawl about 150 feet from the plane despite his injuries. His family was driving back from the concert in Kentucky and was unaware of the accident, but a niece became worried, called police about 4 AM and went to the airpark where they heard his cry for help near the wreckage. Scruggs recovered from his injuries.

Here is the NTSB accident report of the incident:


NTSB Identification: IAD76FKW12

 14 CFR Part 91 General Aviation

 Aircraft: CESSNA 172M, registration: N5047R


A remarkable but little known fact is that the September 1974 FLYING magazine featured THIS VERY AIRCRAFT (5047R) in a multipage article “How they build the indispensable Skyhawk” beginning on page 62.  The article tells the whole story with photos of the birth of Earl’s plane.

Edited by - Oldtwanger on 12/05/2019 12:22:21

Dec 5, 2019 - 12:25:17 PM

1321 posts since 10/5/2006

Sorry, I just can't get the article to post the way it looks in preview.

Dec 5, 2019 - 12:41:51 PM
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1321 posts since 10/5/2006

Dec 5, 2019 - 6:38:54 PM
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563 posts since 4/12/2004

It sounds like his ground speed may have been too fast.

Dec 6, 2019 - 3:37:42 AM



223 posts since 10/9/2019

Anyone gonna write a tune about it? Call it N5047R?

Dec 6, 2019 - 4:43:32 AM
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1321 posts since 10/5/2006

Originally posted by RB3

It sounds like his ground speed may have been too fast.

Earl's "Groundspeed" was always.......'just right'.

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