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Small plane that crashed off California coast was among a growing number of home-built aircraft

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A small home-built aircraft, the Cozy Mark IV, crashed into the ocean off the California coast, with no survivors found.

The aircraft, built by a retired dentist over nearly a decade, was sold to a young, experienced pilot from Australia.

Thane Ostroth said, “I told him, ‘That was well done.’”

“He said, ‘Thank you. I’ll buy the plane,’” recalled Ostroth.

The crash has raised questions about the cause, with a witness reporting an engine losing power.
“It’s just a horrible feeling,” Ostroth admitted.

Home-built aircraft are required to undergo annual inspections for airworthiness, and the Cozy aircraft has a safety record comparable to commercially built planes.

Marc Zeitlin, CEO of California-based Burnside Aerospace, said, “The misconception is that these are put together by baling wire and glue.”

“But they are built using aircraft methodology,” he added.

The crash has prompted investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board, with a preliminary report expected within 30 days.

“The plans come with a list of authorized suppliers of parts,” said Ostroth.

“You buy foam, you buy fiberglass, you buy metal parts from all the manufacturers. And you slowly piece it together,” he explained.

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