(13 September 2000, Indiana)
The antics of an unidentified Lafayette pilot are surely a source of private chagrin to his relatives. During his fly-by-night escapades, the jovial aviator enjoyed circling an area of town and toasting the people below with Coors beer. This time he went too far.
He was flying his Ultra Light aircraft over a small section of homes, saluting the spectators with his beer can, when he smashed into a homeowner's huge TV tower. It is a mystery how he could fail to notice the 150-foot structure, particularly as it was topped with a gaudy Christmas tree star, but fail to notice it he did. The aircraft knocked a a 45-foot section out of the tower, sliced through three steel cables, and dove to within 40 feet of the ground before the embarrassed pilot managed to regain control and fly away.
The Red Baron caused about $4000 of damage. Although his identity is unknown, several clues were found at the scene: his left shoe, sunglasses, and a can of Coors Light were among the debris left by the plane. A compass and speedometer were also found. Police are baffled by the crash, and not sure whether to consider criminal charges. Lt. Rick Blacker said, "I don't think an Ultra Light would classify as a vehicle."
The next time you are in Indiana, look for a guy with only one shoe and holding a beer. He just might be the mystery marauder.
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