A Maverick flying car, which is really just a large powered parachute with street legal chassis, crashed in a schoolyard in Vernon, B.C. Friday morning, moments before Canadian Aviator Editor Russ Niles was to take a demonstration flight.
Pilot Ray Seibring and passenger Ed Faasdyk, the former owner of Okanagan Aero Engines, were not seriously hurt when the aircraft crashed through a chain link fence around an elementary school near the Vernon Airport. There were no kids on the field and no one on the ground was hurt.
Niles said he’d just shot photos and video of the takeoff and first circuit of the Maverick when he saw it turn base and start setting up for landing.
“The parachute seemed to get ahead of the vehicle and it spun sharply left a revolution and a half before it went out of sight,” Niles said. “I heard it go to full power and then I heard the sound of the impact.”
The Maverick is being developed in Florida but Seibring and his family live in Kelowna. The aircraft is a U.S.-registered Light Sport Aircraft. It was in Canada on a temporary permit from Transport Canada.
Sebring told the Globe and Mail a couple of hours after the crash that he doesn’t know what happened to send the aircraft out of control. He also said he’s not going to abandon the project.
The Maverick is intended for use in Third World countries where road access can be spotty. The flying capability is intended to allow it to skip from road to road. There’s a video of the aircraft on the right side of the page.