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The State

Dick Rutan, who piloted a plane nonstop around the world in 1986, has been sued over his alleged approval of an English-designed plane that allegedly turned out to be unstable and dangerous. Rutan of Mojave is one of four defendants that Aviation Composites Co. Ltd. of Berkshire, England, accused of breach of contract and fraud. The company develops and makes aircraft for sale to amateur pilots. The company claimed that, on Rutan’s word, it spent $3 million, all of which it wants to recover in damages. Rutan and Jeana Yeager captured the public’s imagination by flying their Voyager aircraft around the world on a single load of fuel, an unprecedented feat. Yeager was not a party to the suit filed in U.S. District Court in Fresno. The other defendants are Rutan’s brother, Burt; Rutan Aircraft Factory Inc., and Scaled Composites Inc. Rutan could not be reached for comment.


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