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ACRO E-mail Archive Thread: [IAC-L:1495] Ken Hadden, Columbus Dispatch


Thread: [IAC-L:1495] Ken Hadden, Columbus Dispatch

Message: [IAC-L:1495] Ken Hadden, Columbus Dispatch

Follow-Up To: ACRO Email list (for List Members only)

From: Steve Stratton <stratton at>

Date: Wed, 22 Oct 1997 23:26:46 UTC


 I thought it might be helpful to pass on the report of Ken Hadden's
death as reported in the Columbus Dispatch newspaper, 10/22/97. It seems
to be a fairly accurate account of what occured. Ken was the father of
aerobatics in Ohio. It is impossible to express the loss we feel.

Air champion Ken Hadden killed as plane goes down

DELAWARE, Ohio - A pilot famed internationally for his expertise in
aerobatic flying was killed yesterday when his plane crashed and
exploded while he was doing one of aviation's simplest maneuvers over a
farm field 11 miles northwest of here.
	Ken Hadden, 57, of 943 Mulberry Dr., Worthington, had just refueled his
newly purchased plane at Packer Aviation, 5266 Mooney Rd., when he took
off about noon from the tiny airport's single grass runway and attempted
the maneuver, said Sgt. Ron Juszmaul of the State Highway Patrol.
	"He was a little bit too low when he tried to make the recovery,"
Kuszmaul said. "It's a common (maneuver) that he's probably done 
thousands of times".
	Hadden had rolled the single-engine aircraft onto its back and was
attempting to right the plane when it dived nose first at about a
45-degree angle into the field about 800 feet from the west end of the
runway, Kuszmaul said.
	Friend and fellow aerobatic flyer Russell Sheets of Delaware said
Hadden considered his maneuvers to be precision aerobatics.
	"Ken was an excellent pilot," Sheets said. "He taught me to fly. He was
the tops in his field. There's only about 600 people in the world that
do this kind of flying."
	The two men belonged to the Ohio chapter of the International Aerobatic
Club, based in Columbus.
	Sheets accompanied Hadden's widow, Barbara, to the wreckage. "She
wanted to see the site," he said. "She didn't want to believe it until
she saw it."
	Sheets and another pilot, Dave Boyers of Plain City, Ohio, said the
crash was bewildering because of Hadden's skill and the toughness of his
	"There's some inherent risk in any kind of flying that you do," Sheets
said . "It could have happened to anyone."
	Hadden was flying a two-seat, mid-wing Extra 300/200, a $240,000 plane
made in Germany specifically for aerobatics, Sheets said. It was not an
experimental aircraft.
	The main spars supporting the plane's wings are designed to withstand
nine times the force of gravity. "It's literally impossible to break up
in the air," Boyers said.
	Hadden was alone in the red, white and blue plane and probably had come
from Marion, where he kept a glider and was a member of the Central Ohio
Soaring Association, Sheets said. It is believed he was headed to his
home airport at Don Scott Field in Columbus.
	Hadden won national and international championships in powered craft
and aerobatic gliders. In August, he performed in a high-speed glider at
the Rickenbacker Air Show. He practiced daily and logged thousands of
hours of flying.
	A member of the board of directors of the U.S. Aerobatic Foundation, he
had recently returned from competition in the First World Air Games held
in Antalya, Turkey, where he was U.S. Team captain, Sheets said.
	However, Hadden once told The Dispatch he had a fear of heights. "I
can't look over the edge of a tall building," he quipped while
participating in a tournament hosted by the International Aerobatic Club
of Ohio at the Madison County Airport near London, Ohio, in 1990.
	"When I'm in control of a plane, I never think of being so high,"
Hadden said. "It's precision aerobatic flying. I'm not a stunt pilot."
	In 1992, the former professional figure skater said, "We're athletes,
like figure skaters in the air," The Dispatch reported. "A lot of things
are going on very fast. You're working pedals and throttles under all
kinds of forces and all kinds of angles."
	Mark Myers, vice president of CMH Aviation at Bolton Field, said
Hadden's death comes as a blow. "We were very sad," he said.
	"We have lost a real friend to our industry. He was a good promoter of
general avaiation, pilots and aerobatic aviation."
	Myers said Hadden held qualifiers for international aerobatic
competitions at Bolton Field.
	"He was a very strong man. He knew exactly what he wanted and how to
get it."


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