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The Daily



06-24-03: Crash kills first local Y director
The Daily Standard

    Layne A. Scott, the first director of The Auglaize/Mercer Counties YMCA, died Saturday morning when his experimental aircraft crashed into a wheat field east of Huntsville, Ala.
    The accident occurred around 10 a.m., approximately a mile from the Moontown Airport runway where he had lifted off about 30 minutes earlier. Moontown, a popular airport with local ultra-light and experimental plane enthusiasts, is located on the outskirts of Huntsville.
    Among those responding to reports of a plane crash near the facility was inspector Jason McMinn of the Madison County Sheriff's Office.
    The aircraft, which the 48-year-old Scott built from a kit, disintegrated upon impact. The pilot's body was found inside the cockpit, according to McMinn.
    The sheriff's office handled the death investigation while the Federal Aviation Administration office in Birmingham has charge of flight-related issues. Plans call for the wreckage to be reassembled in hopes of determining whether there was some kind of mechanical failure.
    Witnesses on the ground reported hearing no sounds like a sputtering engine in the minutes leading up to the crash. Weather conditions also were flawless with a clear sky and little wind, McMinn told The Daily Standard. He hopes the FAA will be able to determine why the aircraft fell from the sky.
    Scott, an advanced flight instructor, had encountered problems on the ground during an earlier flight.
    "He ran off the runway upon landing and one of the wings clipped a barbed wire fence," the investigator said. "He had been working on the plane and took it up for a test run the previous day without any problems."
    The pilot also had installed some new equipment in the aircraft in recent days, although McMinn was not sure of the particulars.
    McMinn described Scott as "a crack pilot," who earned the esteem and respect of other pilots in the area.
    Scott, a native of Anderson, Ind., came to the Celina area in 1983 after a group of community leaders decided a YMCA was needed. The YMCA history indicates the fledgling organization provided programs and services at area schools, churches, community meeting rooms and parks during the first three years.
    A new facility, located along Ohio 703 near the Wright State University-Lake Campus, opened in November 1986. Scott left the area in 1993 to assume another YMCA post in Cincinnati.
    In 1997, he moved to Huntsville and recently celebrated the completion of a 54,000-square-foot addition to the YMCA there.
    He is survived by his wife, Karen, and their three children.
    Funeral arrangements are pending in Anderson, Ind. A full obituary will appear in Wednesday's paper.


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