Oh, Dear Lord, Another Fatal Air Show Accident: In West Virginia, Acrobatic Trojan Horsemen Plane Crash of Post-WWII T-28 Aircraft Kills Stunt Pilot (video)
Posted By Vicki McClure Davidson on September 18, 2011
We’re still reeling from the horrifying news of the tragic WWII-era fighter plane crash on Friday at a Nevada air show that has claimed nine lives — now, there has been another fatal aircraft crash, this time with a vintage post-WWII T-28 fixed-wing plane that was performing aerobatic stunts at the Blue Ridge Open House and Air Show in Martinsburg, West Virginia.
The Trojan Horsemen aircraft demo plane crashed between the taxiway and runway in front of the hangars, so thankfully, no spectators at the air show were injured. Heartfelt prayers go to the friends and family of the pilot who was killed in this horrible accident.
In this amateur video below, the crash was captured by a spectator. It’s chilling.
Caught on Tape: Plane Crashes at Airshow in Martinsburg West Virginia | September 17, 2011
ITN News: Second US air show crash in 24 hours
From The Washington Post, Thousands watch as acrobatic plane crashes at W.Va. air show; pilot dead, no spectators hurt:
MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — The second deadly air show crash in 24 hours has left one pilot dead in West Virginia and prompted the National Transportation Safety Board to dispatch an investigator to the site where an aerobatic demonstration plane plunged into a runway and exploded as spectators looked on.
Thousands of people were watching from a distance but no one was injured when a T-28 fixed-wing plane in a civilian aerobatics group wobbled and crashed Saturday, authorities said. Many in the crowd hugged each other and cried after seeing the aircraft appear to disintegrate in a fireball.
The ill-fated aircraft was part of a T-28 acrobatic team that tours the nation performing in air shows such as the Thunder Over the Blue Ridge airshow organized over the weekend at an airport near Martinsburg, according to Gen. James Hoyer, West Virginia Air National Guard adjutant.
The rest of the air show, including Sunday’s planned performances, were canceled.
Hoyer declined to immediately identify the pilot, saying next-of-kin were being notified. Meanwhile, air show officials posted a notice on their website encouraging those who witnessed the crash to seek support if they felt viewing it had been traumatic.
The Journal of Martinsburg (http://bit.ly/nJ268P ) reports the aircraft lost control during a six-plane stunt formation and then crashed on a runway near hangers at the airfield, causing thousands at the show to cry, hug and pray afterward.
The paper said the NTSB investigator was expected to arrive later in the day Sunday as part of the investigation and a news conference was expected later Sunday afternoon.
The plane was part of the T-28 Warbird Aerobatic Formation Demonstration Team, and was performing as part of a show put on by the 167th Airlift Wing of the West Virginia Air National Guard.
This video summary following the crash was provided by YouTube contributor bunchobeans:
After the Trojan T-28 aircraft went down about 1430 hours. A few seconds into the video, the remaining 5 Trojans performed a “missing man” formation over the crash site. This will haunt me forever.
Martinsburg, WV Airshow – After the Crash, 09/17/2011
From CBS News, Pilot killed in W.Va. air show crash:
(AP) – MARTINSBURG, W.Va. – The pilot of a post-World War II plane died Saturday after crashing into a runway and bursting into flames, the second deadly air show crash in 24 hours.
The West Virginia Air National Guard said that no spectators were injured and that the crash site was far away from anyone at the show. Still, air show officials posted a notice on their website encouraging those who witnessed the crash to seek support if they felt viewing it had been traumatic.
“We were fortunate that the safety measures put in place by the Federal Aviation Administration ensured the safety of those on the ground,” Maj. Gen. James Hoyer, adjutant general of the West Virginia National Guard, said in a statement. “Right now our thoughts and prayers are with the family members of the deceased.”
Officials have not released the pilot’s name. The fixed-wing, single-engine T-28 plane is registered to John Mangan of Concord, N.C., and was built in 1958, according to a Federal Aviation Administration registry.
The Journal of Martinsburg reports the aircraft lost control during a six-plane stunt formation and then crashed on a runway near hangers at the airfield, causing thousands at the show to cry, hug and pray afterward.
The plane was part of the T-28 Warbird Aerobatic Formation Demonstration Team, which performs at air shows around the country.
A World War II-era plane has today crashed and burst into flames on a runway at a West Virginia air show, killing the pilot.
The T-28 aircraft plummeted to ground shortly after it performed a routine belly-to-belly with another plane. Officials reported no injuries among spectators at the Martinsburg airfield.
The crash comes a day after a stunt pilot in Nevada crashed at an air show there, killing nine.
West Virginia Air National Guard spokesman Lieutenant Nathan Mueller said the T-28 aircraft crashed while it performed during a routine at the Thunder over the Blue Ridge Open House and Air Show in Martinsburg.
The crash occurred at 2.32pm at the 167th Airlift Wing during a stunt where two T-28s were flying belly-to-belly, the Journal of Martinsburg reported.
After the aircraft split, the plane that was heading west out of the manoeuvre wobbled and went straight into the ground, disintegrating into a ball of fire upon impact, the paper reported.
The plane crashed between the taxiway and runway in front of the hangars.
‘We were fortunate that the safety measures put in place by the Federal Aviation Administration ensured the safety of those on the ground,’ said Major General James Hoyer, adjutant general of the West Virginia National Guard.