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Mid-Air at Turf Soaring

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Old December 29th 03, 05:41 PM
Herbert Kilian
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Default Mid-Air at Turf Soaring

This morning I read in the Chicago Tribune about a mid-air between a
2-33 and a Piper Cub at Turf Soaring in AZ. Each aircraft was
carrying two passengers, all died in the crash.
Does anybody have more detailed information on the accident or links
to articles in the Phoenix press?

Herbert, J7
Old December 29th 03, 05:54 PM
Tom Frazer
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From :

Aero-News Network "Propwash" E-Mail Aero-News Summary 12.29.03

Glider/Piper Cub MidAir Kills 4

A tragic midair

collision near the highly respected Turf Soaring School, of Peoria

AZ (West of Phoenix) has killed all four persons aboard the

aircraft involved -- a Piper Cub and a 1983 Schleicher AS K21. Both

aircraft are two seaters and were fully occupied.

While the FAA and NTSB have yet to complete an investigation,

published reports suggest that the AS K21 was engaged in an

aerobatic maneuver (reported as a loop) when it collided with the

J-3 over Pleasant Valley Airport. The aircraft impacted just North

of the runway and all four were reported lost at impact.

Turf Soaring School Aerobatic Instructor Keith Coulliette

(right), 30, was giving dual to Matthew Broadus, 36, of Redmond,

Washington. Coulliette, tragically, is also the son of Turf

Soaring's owner Roy Coulliette. The Cub was reported to be under

the guidance of Carl Remmer, 82, a retired Marine Corps pilot from

Sun City. He was accompanied passenger Bob Shaff, also reported to

be in his mid-80s, also of Phoenix. The aircraft departed the

airport prior to the collision but was not involved in any school


FMI: www.turfsoaring.com

For the WHOLE story, go to

"Herbert Kilian" wrote in message
This morning I read in the Chicago Tribune about a mid-air between a
2-33 and a Piper Cub at Turf Soaring in AZ. Each aircraft was
carrying two passengers, all died in the crash.
Does anybody have more detailed information on the accident or links
to articles in the Phoenix press?

Herbert, J7

Old December 30th 03, 03:45 AM
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"Herbert Kilian" wrote in message
This morning I read in the Chicago Tribune about a mid-air between a
2-33 and a Piper Cub at Turf Soaring in AZ. Each aircraft was
carrying two passengers, all died in the crash.
Does anybody have more detailed information on the accident or links
to articles in the Phoenix press?


Old December 30th 03, 05:17 PM
Kirk Stant
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Turf Soaring has released a statement about this tragic accident; it
can be seen on the Arizona Soaring Association's web site at:


Keith and Carl were both friends. I have given many commercial acro
rides in the accident ASK21 and had been checked out by Carl in his
immaculate J-3 a few years ago. It is hard to accept what has
happened, but aviation is unforgiving, as we all know and must

But damn, I hate when this happens...

Roy, you have my deepest sympathies.

Old January 1st 04, 03:15 PM
Cliff Hilty
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A Statement from Turf Soaring School

Peoria, AZ - December 29, 2003 -- Yesterday, December
28, 2003, we at Turf Soaring School, together with
the entire flying community, suffered a great and tragic
loss. An in- flight collision between one of our non-powered
glider aircraft and another locally operated powered
aircraft claimed the lives of four people. Words cannot
express the profound grief, shock and loss that is
being felt today at Turf Soaring School and at The
Pleasant Valley Airport.

This tragic accident is being investigated by teams
from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the
National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and officials
from Turf Soaring School. The staff and management
of Turf Soaring School will cooperate in every possible
way with both the FAA and NTSB investigators.

Those lost in yesterday’s accident were Keith Coulliette,
30, the pilot of the Turf Soaring School glider-aircraft
and his passenger, Matthew Broadus, 36, of Redmond,
Washington. Carl Remmel, 82, of Sun City West, Arizona
was flying a Piper J3 Cub. Bob Shaff, a Phoenix resident
in his mid-80s, was Mr. Remmel’s passenger.

Making this tragedy even more profound and heartbreaking
to the Turf Soaring School Staff is the fact that Keith
Coulliette was the son of Roy Coulliette, the founder
and primary owner of Turf Soaring School. Mr. Carl
Remmel was close friend of the Coulliette family and
many of the staff members of Turf Soaring. He regularly
flew in and out of Pleasant Valley Airport. Carl Remmel
was an FAA licensed Flight Instructor and a retired
aviator with the United States Marine Corps.

“Turf Soaring is not only a very successful Arizona
business, but it is also very much a small and close
family,” said Rick Brown, a long-time employee and
instructor pilot at Turf. “Our ‘family members’ are
not only the Turf staff but also many of the local
pilots who fly in and out of this airport. We are united
in our love of aviation. We have never, in our over
36 years, experienced this kind of tragic loss,” Mr.
Brown said. “The staff – the ‘family’ - is devastated,”
he said.

Published eyewitness accounts of the accident generally
agree that the following events occurred at approximately
1:15 PM yesterday: During a routine aerobatic Turf
Soaring flight, Turf’s Schleicher ASK-21 aerobatic
glider-sailplane collided with a Piper J3 Cub. The
glider was completing its normal aerobatic maneuvers
and was nearing the end of its flight. At the end of
the glider’s aerobatic routine, the glider and the
J3 Cub collided. Both the glider and the powered aircraft
suffered significant structural damage upon the impact.

At this time, published and broadcast reports seem
to indicate that the Turf Soaring School glider was
operating within a designated area known as “the aerobatic
box.” This area is set aside for aerobatic flight and
is well known to the pilots who regularly fly in and
around Pleasant Valley Airport. Wreckage from both
aircraft is contained within this area.

The crash area is cordoned off and not accessible to
the public as the investigations continue. As is the
case with aircraft investigations, the final results
of the investigations may take up to one year.

In an emotional meeting with his staff this morning,
Turf Soaring School owner Roy Coulliette spoke of his
son and his loss and the loss of the other victims.

“Keith Coulliette loved flying,” said Roy.

Although he held degrees in Journalism, Political Science
and was a certified public school teacher, Keith’s
love of flying brought him back to the family business
founded by his father over 36 years ago.

“There he found a way to merge his love of flying and
teaching,” Mr. Coulliette said.

Flying since he was 14, Keith had logged more than
3000 glider flights and was one of Turf’s experienced
pilots who regularly flew passengers in aerobatic flights.
He was an FAA Certified Flight Instructor and Commercial

During their staff meeting this morning, Turf’s close-knit
staff expressed their need and desire to communicate
their heartfelt sympathy and deep condolences to all
of the families and friends involved in this tragic
accident and also to publicly thank the many who continue
to offer their sympathy and support.

Mr. Brown has taken issue with certain statements published
in both The Arizona Republic and The East Valley Tribune

In a story published today in The East Valley Tribune
Newspaper, Peoria Fire Department spokesman Mike Tellef
is quoted as saying “…there are many ultra light and
small-engine aircraft in the area. Hot air balloons
also could be seen in the distance. “‘It’s surprising
we don’t have more of this out here.’ ”

Speaking for Turf Soaring School’s staff, Mr. Brown
said, “These kinds of statements are unwarranted, unfortunate
and hurtful. They are hurtful and insulting to the
General Aviation community and to the proficiency and
skill of the many thousands of General Aviation pilots
in and around this area.

The Arizona Republic ended its otherwise accurate front
page article citing a glider accident in 2002 as being
a “Turf Soaring School glider.” This information is
incorrect. The aircraft in question was owned and being
piloted by a private individual who was not employed
with Turf Soaring.

Pleasant Valley Airport was specifically designed for
gliders and light powered aircraft and does not handle
large aircraft nor does it handle the launching and
landing of hot air balloons. Nevertheless, every year
tens of thousands of take-offs and landings occur efficiently
and safely at Turf Soaring and Pleasant Valley Airport.

Turf Soaring and Pleasant Valley Airport are known
as one of the premiere glider operations in the world
with pilots from as far away as Japan and Europe often
traveling to America specifically to fly at Turf Soaring.”

“We strive for safety in everything we do,” said Mr.
Brown. “With the many, many thousands of flight operations
we conduct here each year, our safety record is outstanding.
In fact, with all these operations, even though is
not generally perceived as such, Pleasant Valley Airport
is actually one of the busiest airports in Arizona,”
he said.

“When considering the sheer number of flight operations
we conduct daily and yearly, our record actually attests
to the safety we strive for.” Mr. Brown said.

“Regardless of the endeavor, whether it is flying,
boating, driving a car – you name it - no matter how
hard you may work to prevent it, eventually an accident
will happen. And
when it does, it is devastating for all of us in the
flying community,” Mr. Brown said.

“Soaring,” as the sport of glider flying is known,
is a generally safe sport with fewer than 10 accidental
deaths per year world wide.

Turf Soaring School is one the nation’s oldest and
best known aviation schools specializing in teaching
Sailplane Flight. Over its 36 year history, the school
has trained many thousands of pilots, a number of whom
have gone on to careers in the US Military and in Commercial

Turf Soaring has often served as host to a number of
sanctioned competitive glider events. The school is
also active in supporting the efforts of the Arizona
Civil Air Patrol’s Glider Wing. In fact, for many years,
Turf has provided the CAP with land for its airport
office at no charge.

During his meeting with the Turf Soaring staff this
morning, owner Roy Coulliette asked staff members if
and when they wanted to resume flying operations. The
vote was unanimous that airport operations should resume
today. “Keith would have wanted it this way,” Mr. Coulliette

End of statement.

Funeral Services for Keith Coulliette

Friday January 2nd, 2004 at 10:00 AM

Church of Christ
1223 E. Dana Ave.
Mesa, AZ 85204 Telephone # 480-964-1743

Following the service at approximately 12:00 there
will be a funeral procession to the cemetery

Queen of Heaven Cemetery
1500 East Baseline
Mesa, AZ 85204

A flyby is planned at 12:20 PM

After this there will be a reception at Church of Christ.
All family and friends are invited.

Flowers can be delivered to Chapel of the Roses
43 S. Stapley
Mesa, AZ 85204


In lieu of flowers donations can be made to:
Animal Benefit Club Sanctuary
3111 E. Saint John Road
Phoenix, AZ 85032 Telephone # 602-867-2169
Mark check “Memorial for Keith Coulliette”

Directions to church – 60 East Exit Stapley North to
SE corner Stapley & East Dana

Old January 1st 04, 06:05 PM
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My deepest condolances to Roy - from whom I took some of the earliest glider
lessons offered by the school back in 1971 when it was located next to the
Turf Paradise horse racing track.

Roman Kaluzniacki

Old January 2nd 04, 11:26 AM
[email protected]
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Kirk ... please Email me offline

The USAF is reactivating the 3rd Squadron at Moody AFB.

It is a T-6A training squadron. I have a digital image of the
new patch.

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