Pilot Killed During Reno Air Races Engine Test
“You are many steps from your dream, but start!”
The words are on the website owned by Cassutt Aircraft, which Creighton King owns. King, an aircraft designer and race pilot, was killed on Wednesday in West Jordan, Utah, in a test flight in the Cassutt 111M race airplane, Race No. 15, Last Lap Player.
As per the West Jordan Police Department, the accident occurred following 12:30 p.m. PDT on Wednesday. King was taking off Runway 16 at South Valley Regional Airport (U42), about 13 miles south of Salt Lake City. The runway is 5,862 feet in 100 feet.
The report from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), “the plane went through a fence, walked across the street, then was able to land at the northern end of the roadway. A NTSB investigator was at the scene within a matter of hours after the accident.”
One witness informed the local media that the plane was at a low altitude when it turned left and sank into the ground. The photos of the plane’s wreckage on the streets depict an aircraft that hit the ground hard and shattered.
Two passersby attempted to give CPR to King, but the attempt was unsuccessful.
King lived at home in Salt Lake City. His website describes cycling to the airport and washing aircraft to earn rides. He constructed and rebuilt numerous aircraft in his lifetime. He was an instructor for over 30 years. He earned his license in his teen years.
King’s family and friends refer to him as a skilled and proficient pilot and mechanic for aviation who was familiar with the aircraft because he built the airplane, rebuilt it, and played on it in preparation for the coming National Championship Air Races at Reno. The plane had also been used in various Formula 1 races around the globe.
According to the posts posted on social networks, this flight occurred to test the engine, which the pilot overhauled in preparation for the Reno Air Races. The race was within the Formula 1 category, where the airplanes can reach more than 250 mph speeds.
The destroyed airplane, as per the website, appeared to be “a traditional Cassutt 111M with a 17-foot wing and an 0-200 [engine].” King rebuilt the aircraft, resulting in what he called “a entirely new design, which is now called the CassuTT. My CassuTT is a fun ride, and I’ve described flying it as my first date in elementary school. It’s a huge improvement over previous designs.”
In addition to the aviation business, King also owned GripLockTies, zip ties with rubber lines used by many people in the aviation industry and many other areas.