Return to Tips & Tricks         Berkut Accident, Owner and Pilot: Charles Braken


This plane belongs to a friend of mine that is based out of Detroit City Airport (Charles Bracken). Chuck flew this Berkut all over the continental Unites States. I had the opportunity to sit in the back of this bird many times with Chuck and do some local flying. The performance of this machine was incredible. Unfortunately it was destroyed back in June 2004. I don't have all the details but I do know that Edison had power-lines at the approach end of a rural runway in central Michigan that were unmarked. The aircraft caught one of these unmarked (no orange balls) wires on short final. Chuck was very lucky and survived the accident. Having flown with Chuck I know he was a very aware and experienced pilot who had logged many hours in this plane.

The point of this story is, no matter how good of a pilot you are or how many years you have behind the controls, you can't protect yourself against things you can not see. Always be aware of what might be in your flight path. Chuck was an experienced pilot and handled several emergencies in the past. But there are still things that will bite you when you least expect it.

Thank you Chuck for allowing me to post these pictures and tell the story.   

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