Bearhawk Designer Bob Barrows Injured in Landing Crash

Image: Steve Craddock / WBTV News

Bob Barrows, who designed the Bearhawk line of Experimental aircraft, suffered a landing accident on approach to Holly Ridge/Topsail Island Airport (N21) on Monday. According to reports, Barrows clipped power lines on approach and the Bearhawk LSA impacted the turf runway in a strongly nose-down attitude.

Photos of the aftermath show the airplane crumbled right to the firewall. According to Bearhawk's Mark Goldberg in a forum posting on Tuesday morning, "Bob has a broken leg and broken foot, and was in surgery last night. And is bruised up. I heard the extent of his injuries late last night after surgery but no updates yet today."

Holly Ridge airport, 28 statute miles northeast of Wilmington, North Carolina, has a single 3600-foot-long turf strip that's bordered on both ends by power lines. The weather was good at the time of the accident, with light winds at the nearest reporting station.

Goldberg also posted that "some of the BH community nearby are offering to go get his LSA and take it home. One lesson learned is that the steel tube structure Bob designs in his planes--is a really good thing. An aluminum airplane would not have protected Bob as well."

The Bearhawk LSA is a two-seat tandem taildragger with a Continental C-85 engine. Cruise speed is listed as "115 - 125 mph" with a landing speed of 30 mph.


KITPLANES Editor in Chief Marc Cook has been in aviation journalism for 30 years. He is a 4500-hour instrument-rated, multi-engine pilot with experience in nearly 150 types. He’s completed two kit aircraft, an Aero Designs Pulsar XP and a Glastar Sportsman 2+2.

2 Replies to “Bearhawk Designer Bob Barrows Injured in Landing Crash”

  1. Sorry to hear.
    I met Bob one day at Squire Haines airport at Rainelle , West Virginia
    Gave him a hand prop on his larger plane.
    He then blew my tent down!
    Get well quick, Bob

  2. I just learned of Bob's accident the other day from a fellow aviator in my local area. I am sorry for his injuries and am always amazed why power lines would be placed above ground at the end of any runway, when being placed underground is a smarter option.
    I have had many people say the Bearhawk LSA is a strongly designed LSA. I guess this accident, sadly, demonstrates that.
    Thanks for the good design, Bob, and here's hoping you get well soon.

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