Kit-built plane lands despite explosion

May 10, 2010 at 8:50 PM

DENVER, May 10 (UPI) -- Authorities said a pilot was able to land a kit-built aircraft in Colorado despite the small plane's engine exploding and ripping off its wing.

The Federal Aviation Administration said the pilot, identified as a 54-year-old man from Wellington, Colo., was able to guide the 4-year-old jet-powered Berkut to a field near Loveland and landed without injury at 10 a.m. Sunday, The Denver Post reported Monday.

FAA spokesman Mike Fergus said the turbo-shaft engine of the aircraft, which was deemed airworthy by FAA officials in 2006, exploded in mid-flight and the wings separated from the plane.

The FAA said more than 30,000 "amateur-built" planes have been registered in the United States.

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