ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 122931
Last updated: 26 May 2013
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Narrative:For three years, boater Ray Rockwell passed the plane wreckage scattered along the canal between Fishermen's Wharf and Lake Griffin. He didn't think much of it.
|C/n / msn:|| |
|Fatalities:||Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1|
|Airplane damage:|| Written off (damaged beyond repair)|
|Location:||A mile from Eagle's Nest Fish Camp, north of Leesburg -
United States of America
|Phase:|| En route|
He knew his father had been a pilot and so had one of his cousins. But what he didn't know was that three years after he first saw it he would be studying that very plane again — and solving a 62-year-old family mystery.
The Pennsylvania snowbird said he passed the scattered debris in his boat at least 50 times before learning the wreckage wasn't the result of some mishap made by a trainee at the Leesburg airport when it was an Army airfield during World War II, as he'd thought, but instead was something far more personal.
As it turned out — and in the strangest of coincidences — the weather-beaten fuselage, engine and bent prop sunk into swamp muck mark the site of the fatal airplane crash of his cousin, Leon "Red" Geer. Geer, a 24-year-old acrobatic flier, crashed Jan. 1, 1949, while practicing for the National Air Show in Miami taking place later that month.
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