Branson officials received several phone calls shortly after 9 a.m Friday Sep.22 after witnessing a plane spiraling into the Henning conservation area west of the Branson strip. The densely wooded area proved to be problematic for rescue teams who searched for nearly an hour and a half before local hospital airplanes were dispatched to identify the crash site. There was neither smoke nor fire and wreckage debris was scattered in a relatively small area. Emergency responder details of the scene suggested the pilot died on impact. The pilot has been identified as Thomas Currie.
Thomas Currie stayed overnight at Hollister’s Taney County Airport, previously known as M Graham Park Airport, in the mechanic’s hanger after experiencing propeller vibrations with his homemade aircraft. He was hesitant about flying the plane due to concerns about the connection between the propeller and crank shaft which may have cause oil leaks. It was reported that Currie held up a can of J-B Weld, joking, “I never fly without it”. Currie plane was one of over 2000 “Quickie kit planes” which are no longer in production. Known for an inexpensive price and ease of use featuring glass fibre over a foam core. The Continental 4 cylinder 85 horsepower engine reached speeds of 150 miles an hour which flight instructor Bill Lee stated, “ shows an exceptional ability in aeronautic design”. Airport personnel described Thomas Currie as both an interesting and pleasant person to be around
Currie was on his way to Kansas City where he planned to pick up a friend to take with him to an Emporia Kansas Air Show. Currie flew the plane for 7 years and 800 hours before the plane crash and was excited about going to the show which he had done annually since the plane was built. Thomas was especially excited about flying into Emporia and surprising his friends with a fresh new flying shark paint job.