Charles Matthews We are very saddened to report that on Saturday, May 26 we lost a wonderful member of our community in a Dragonfly accident. This is what we know at this point, or at least the best that we can put together currently. Charles Matthews was flying the Dragonfly solo, checking the air in preparations for afternoon towing. There was a second Dragonfly aloft also checking conditions. The second Dragonfly was about 500 to 600 feet almost directly above Charles. Witnesses watched the plane flying very slowly, parallel to the mountain about 50 feet above the mountain and about 300 feet out away from mountain, in front of the shop almost over Burkhaulter Gap Road. The plane then started a 30 to 45 degree nose-down spiral dive, doing two rotations before disappearing into the trees. Dr. Carmichael was on the scene within 10 minutes to render aid but Charles had died. The BRS rocket parachute system handle was not pulled. The FAA has inspected the wreckage and released the aircraft for salvage finding no issues that could be determined to be the cause of the accident. We dont know what caused the accident, there is speculation, but at this point it is just speculation. Charles had flown LMFP tow planes for two years, flying on weekends for the fun of it. He was an excellent tow pilot who was often requested. Charles was a very experienced pilot and had a lot of experience towing sailplanes as well as hang gliders. He was an ATP rated pilot with many thousands of hours. He earned his first rating as a sailplane pilot when he was 14 years old. His father was also an airline captain and many know the sailplane airfield that his dad Art Matthews built in the Sequatchie Valley. He originally learned to fly hang gliders about 25 years ago at Lookout with his dad and he had spent the last two years getting back into hang gliding and was flying very well. He was very excited about hang gliding, actually he was just excited about flying anything and he loved to fly the Dragonfly. Charles was the kind of guy everyone wants as a friend with a sparkle in his eye and a smile on his face. He was always positive, energetic, happy, and would do anything to help you out. He leaves behind his wife Cameron and his two children, Tyler and Eric, as well as his parents , Art and Betty. This is all very sad and Charles will be greatly missed. Our heartfelt condolences to Charles family and friends. Charles Mathews will remain in our hearts forever

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