The Iowa Air National Guard has cancelled two training missions following the death of one of its leaders. Lieutenant Colonel Michael O’Grady was killed Friday night when his private plane crashed in Des Moines just short of the runway. He was the only person aboard. Guard spokesman Colonel Robert King says O’Grady will be sorely missed.The 40-year-old O’Grady flew missions in the Persian Gulf War and had more than two thousand hours of flight experience in the F-16. The plane he crashed was a 1940s-vintage Luscombe 8-A. Colonel King says O’Grady’s death will force changes in the Iowa Guard’s 137th Fighter Wing in Des Moines.O’Grady was the operations group commander for the 137th. He was a Des Moines native and had a wife and two children. King says O’Grady was the lead trainer and mentor for other pilots, and King says his death a tremendous loss. The F-A-A is investigating the cause of the crash.
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