Kent L. Feurring, age 57, of Sagaponack who also was president of the East Hampton Aviation Association was killed approximately at 12:30 pm, Thursday Oct 6th, when his small one engine plane, a Seamax M-22, came tumbling down into a corner of Three-Mile- Harbor.
The Seamax M-22 is a Brazilian single-engine, amphibious light sport aircraft and Fédération Aéronautique Internationale microlight. Originally manufactured by AirMax Construções Aeronáuticas of Jacarepaguá and called the Airmax SeaMax, since 2015 it has been built by Seamax Aircraft of Sao Paulo.
Eyewitnesses observed separation of a wing that preceded the plane’s sudden and violent descent from the huge blue sky into the shallow waters just off (Jeff Briggs) East Hampton Marina 19 Boatyard Drive in East Hampton. The plane had reportedly just left East Hampton Town Airport at 12:19, only some eleven minutes earlier.
Mr. Feurring described himself on Facebook as “A single father, a filmmaker and a pilot,… who lives in Sagaponack but is from Miami.” His schooling included Miami County Day School, Harvard University, University of Miami and University of Miami.
His plane exploded upon impact according to eyewitnesses. Within minutes an East Hampton Police officer responding to a 9-1-1 call was at the scene. A perimeter area was then established until the coroner could inspect the body. Later East Hampton Police located a wing of the aircraft by using a drone. It was hanging in a nearby tree not far from a longtime osprey nest in the small cove.
By sundown on Thursday (Oct 6th) the wreckage of the plane was being offloaded from three small vessels by the East Hampton Marine Patrol to be investigated by the F.A.A., the National Transportation Board, and the Suffolk County medical examiner’s office. Small plane accidents by the separation of a single wing are very rare. On most small planes the spars run all the way through the wings, connecting in a “wing box” on the bottom of the fuselage, ensuring that the wings cannot snap off. Rainer Groh, the writer behind the Aerospace Engineering Blog, was quoted as saying, “The only possible way for an airplane wing to snap off (in good weather) would be bad maintenance.”
An example of the many sympathetic posts on Mr. Feurring’s Facebook page is exemplified by the post of Scarlet Magda who posted, “Heartbreaking to lose one of the good ones. Kent Feurring was a passionate, meticulous pilot, steward of our community and helped navigate many difficult situations at our local airport. All I can say is at least he died doing what he loved most, and you just never know when it’s going to end, so practice gratitude and live each day like it’s your last. Rest in peace Kent. I appreciate you sharing your beloved aviation world with me.”
By sundown on Thursday (Oct 6th) the wreckage of the plane was being offloaded from three small vessels by the East Hampton Marine Patrol to be investigated by the F.A.A. the National Transportation Board, and the Suffolk County medical examiner’s office.
It must be noted as president of the East Hampton Aviation Association Kent Feurring participated in the official conversation concerning the fate of East Hampton Town Airport including a panel of moderation that was assembled to discuss it. That panel was moderated (with “fair balance” for all) by Joseph Shaw, executive editor at Express Newspaper Group. The panel consisted of Kent Feurring, president of the East Hampton Aviation Association; Barry Raebeck, co-founder of Say No To KHTO; Kathryn Slye Allen, of the East Hampton Aviation Association; John Kirrane of Noyac Citizens Advisory Committee and Southampton Town Anti-Aircraft Noise Committee, and East Hampton Town Board member Jeffrey Bragman.
On April 27, 2022 Kent Feurring himself posted this “Impressions of a Pilot” saying, “Flight is freedom in its purest form, to dance in the clouds which follow a storm. To roll and glide, to wheel and spin, to feel the joy that swells within; To leave the earth with its troubles and fly, and know the warmth of a clear spring sky. Then back to earth at the end of day, released from the tensions which melted away, Should my end come while I am in flight, whether the brightest or darkest night: spare me your tears and shrug off the pain, secure in the knowledge that I’d do it again. For each of us is created to die, and within me I know, I was born to fly.”