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Rex Hamilton - In Memoriam

I am very sad to report that Rex Hamilton, Soaring Governor for the State of Kansas, was fatally injured in a towing incident on Saturday.

From the early accounts, Rex was towing an SGS 2-33 with two people on board when the Cessna 182 tow plane experienced engine problems at approximately 100' agl. The glider released and landed safely on the short grass strip while Rex banked left, apparently to avoid any landing conflict with the two passenger aircraft. The towplane cartwheeled in some small trees, fatally injuring its pilot. It's too early to tell; but fuel contamination is suspected.

The incident occurred at Wichita Airpark, a small airfield located just northeast of Wichita, Kansas and about 35 miles east of Sunflower Aerodrome, the other center for soaring activity in the south central Kansas area which has hosted several national and regional contests.

I was not present and am only reporting information which has been received second hand. Hopefully, more detailed information will be reported later.

Those who know Rex will remember him for his self-sacrificing nature, his tireless efforts to promote soaring, and his perennial smile. He was an engineer at Cessna who worked closely with the FAA on certification issues, most recently the Citation X business jet. He held multiple powered and glider ratings. He will be sorely missed.

Pensively,
Gary Osoba

Posted: 12/1/1998


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