List of air show accidents and incidents

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Smoke from a crashed Hawker-Siddeley Hunter at the Oregon International Airshow Hillsboro, Oregon July 16, 2006

This is a year-by-year list of aviation accidents that have occurred at airshows worldwide.

List of airshow accidents
2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009
1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999
1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989
1970 1971 1972 1973 1974 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979
1961 1962 1964 1965 1966 1967 1968 1969
1950 1951 1952 1953 1954 1955 1956 1957 1958
1940 1943 1945 1946 1947 1948 1949
1930 1931 1932 1933 1934 1935 1937 1938 1939
1920 1921 1922 1923 1925 1926 1927 1929
1910 1911 1919
See alsoReferencesExternal links


  • September 21 - Francesco Fornabaio died during the Fly Venice 2014 at the Giovanni Nicelli Airport in Venice, Italy in his Extreme 3000.[1]
  • July 31 - A Hawker Sea Fury performing the penultimate display at the Culdrose Air Day crash landed after an engine problem possibly due to lack of hydraulics. The crash was minor and the pilot survived.
  • June 29 - Flying Circus Aerodrome, Bealeton, Virginia - While performing a routine act in the Flying Circus Airshow, a Waco UPF-7 biplane experienced a total loss of power and was forced to make an emergency landing in an adjacent field. However, the landing roll was too fast for the pilot to safely stop the aircraft before it impacted a tree grove at the edge of the field, totally destroying the aircraft. The pilot managed to escape and walk away with minor injuries.
  • June 29 - The Shuttleworth Collection's Sopwith Triplane hit a surrounding airfield fence on landing and ended up on its nose. The pilot Dodge Bailey escaped unhurt, but the aircraft suffered wing, undercarriage and propellor damage.
  • June 1 - Bill Cowden died during the Stevens Point Airshow at the Stevens Point Municipal Airport in Stevens Point, Wisconsin in his Yakovlev Yak-55M.[2]
  • May 4 - Eddie Andreini was killed during Thunder Over Solano airshow at the Travis Air Force Base in Solano County, California in his highly modified PR13D Super Stearman. The fatal accident occurred when he was attempting his signature low-altitude inverted ribbon cutting maneuver.[3][4]
  • March 7 - Tamás Nádas died at the Qatar Mile event at the Al Khor Airport in Al Khor, Qatar. The fatal accident occurred when he was doing an inverted low pass in his Zivko Edge 540. While in the inverted position, he lost control of his aircraft and plummeted to the ground.[5]


  • October 12 - Glen Dell suffered severe burns when his Extra EA-300 crashed at the Secunda Airshow in Secunda, Mpumalanga. A few hours later he died of his injuries at the local hospital.[6]
  • August 17 - An Interstate L-6 Cadet crashed during takeoff while performing at the Lancaster Community Days Air Show at the Lancaster Airport in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. The pilot appears to be fine.[7]
  • June 30 - Unnamed pilot, 47, who was piloting the Zlín Z-526AFS Akrobat at the Rock 'N' Race in Finowfurt, Germany died when the airplane crashed.[8]
  • June 23 - John Klatt was forced to land his MX Aircraft MXS after he experienced an engine failure. He released the aircraft's canopy, which had become coated with oil, in order to regain forward visibility to land. He suffered some minor burns and bruises, but is otherwise fine. The aircraft is in need of repairs.[9]
  • June 22 - Pilot Charlie Schwenker and wingwalker Jane Wicker were killed when Wicker's Boeing-Stearman IB75A struck the ground and burst into flames while performing at the Vectren Dayton Air Show at the Dayton International Airport in Vandalia, Ohio. The fatal accident occurred when the Stearman was transitioning to a low-level inverted pass, with Wicker sitting upside down (but right-side up at the conclusion of the inverted transition). While flying inverted from the southeast to the northwest in front of the spectators, the aircraft's nose pitched slightly above the horizon. The aircraft abruptly rolled to the right and impacted terrain in a descending left-wing-low attitude. A post-impact fire ensued and consumed a majority of the right wing and front half of the fuselage.[10]
  • May 19 - Murat Öztürk crashed his plane while participating for the weekend's Adana Air Show organized to celebrate national public holiday in Turkey.[11]
  • May 5 - Ladislao Tejedor Romero, an assistant to Spain's Defense Minister, was severely injured when the Hispano HA-200 Saeta he piloted crashed into a hangar and exploded on impact at the Madrid-Cuatro Vientos Airport in Madrid, Spain. A few hours later he died of his injuries at the local hospital.[12] Three policemen and a woman who went to help the pilot after the crash were injured.[13]
  • April 7 - First Lieutenant Rafael Sanchez and Second Lieutenant Carlos Manuel Guerrero crashed an ENAER T-35 Pillán while participating in the Show Aéreo del Caribe in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. The aircraft pulled up and rolled inverted, but failed to recover from the dive following the maneuver. The pilot rolled upright, and the aircraft impacted the water, Both pilots died.[14]
  • March 17 - Roger Stokes, who was flying a Supermarine Spitfire Mk 26, an 80% scale home-build replica of the Supermarine Spitfire, died when it crashed into a fence between two businesses in a commercial area on Frost Road in the nearby suburb of Salisbury, while completing a routine at the Classic Jets Original Parafield Airshow at Parafield Airport in Parafield, South Australia.[15]
  • January 23 - Kirby Chambliss crashed his Zivko Edge 540 while participating for the weekend's Ilopango Air Show in El Salvador. The incident happened when he was executing a formation high alpha pass and crashed at the end of the runway as the engine quit. The airplane is a total loss and Chambliss survived with bumps and bruises.[16]


  • October 1- A vintage de Havilland DH-84 Dragon crashed en route home after performing at an airshow in Monto in central Queensland, Australia. All six occupants on board, including the pilot Des Porter, his wife and four friends, were killed in the accident.[17]
  • September 29 - An AS/SA 202 Bravo piloted by Nurman Lubis and Tonny Haryono, owned by the Indonesian Aerosport Federation, crashed because the plane appeared to be flying too low during its aerobatic routine and spun "out of control" before it hit the structure at the Bandung Air Show at the Husein Sastranegara International Airport in. Both pilots died.[18][19]
  • September 11 - A highly modified Hawker Sea Fury, nicknamed "Furias," piloted by Matt Jackson made a hard emergency landing when the right landing gear collapsed and veered off the runway at the 2012 National Championship Air Races and Air Show in Reno, Nevada. The pilot was uninjured.[20]
  • September 7 - Robert "Bob" Odegaard died while flying his Goodyear F2G "Super" Corsair 2G-1 Corsair, better known as "Race 74" while practicing for the weekend's Wings & Wheels Airshow at the Barnes County Municipal Airport in Valley City, North Dakota.
  • September 1 - Glenn Smith, a member of the HopperFlight Team died at the Quad City Air Show while executing a crossover break maneuver when his Aero L-39C Albatros failed to pull out of a 45-degree bank and crashed when flying in formation at the Davenport Municipal Airport in Davenport, Iowa.
  • August 4 - Kent Pietsch crashed his Jelly Belly 1942 Interstate Cadet while performing his comedy routine at the Wetaskiwin Air Show in Wetaskiwin, Alberta, Canada. The wing hit the wheat field, ripped the wing off and spun around while he was landing. Kent was taken to the hospital in stable condition. He has since been released from the hospital and plans on continuing flying in air shows once he repairs his airplane. He has since returned to the airshow circuit.
  • July 1 - Trevor Roche died at the Shuttleworth Military Pageant Airshow in Bedfordshire, when the 1923 de Havilland DH.53 Humming Bird G-EBHX crashed.[21]
  • June 30 - Gianfranco Cicogna-Mozzoni died at the Klerksdorp Air Show in South Africa when his Aero L-39 Albatros got into the wake turbulence of the lead aircraft and suffered a compressor stall, followed by a high-speed wing stall, before impacting the ground at a 50 degree angle. The plane exploded on impact.[22]
  • June 15 - A Christen Eagle piloted by Ryland "Buck" Roetman crashed while performing a series of outside snap rolls, when the engine lost oil pressure during a preview for the Legacy Airshow in Rexburg, Idaho. The pilot guided the airplane onto an adjacent golf course where it skidded and hit a tree. The pilot suffered a sprained ankle; the aircraft was destroyed.[23]
  • June 3 - A Fairey Firefly AS.6 WB518 suffered a landing gear collapse on runway 27R at the Wings over Gillespie airshow in El Cajon, California. The pilot was uninjured.[24]
  • April 28 - Martino Wirth died at the Flugplatz Alkersleben airshow in Erfurt, Germany while flying his 1950s era Zlín T Trenér 6 in a formation flight.[25]


  • October 14 - The fourth prototype Xian JH-7A, 814, of the China Flight Test Establishment of the People's Liberation Army Air Force crashed into a marsh near Wei Nan City, Pucheng in Shaanxi Province, China, while performing in an airshow associated with the China International General Aviation Convention. The airframe came down about 1 mile (1.6 km.) from Pucheng Neifu Airport. One pilot ejected safely but the second crewman was killed.[26]
  • September 17 – A T-28C Trojan, N688GR,[27] crashed during the Thunder over the Blue Ridge Open House and Air Show in Martinsburg, West Virginia killing pilot John Mangan.[28]
  • September 16 – 2011 Reno Air Races crash – Pilot Jimmy Leeward lost control of his highly modified P-51D Mustang, which was named The Galloping Ghost. The Galloping Ghost crashed into spectators and was instantly destroyed at the National Championship Air Races and Air Show, killing 10 spectators, injuring 69 spectators and instantly killing Leeward. The NTSB critically investigated the incident and found that it was traveling about 445 knots when it experienced a left roll upset at 17.3 Gs when a section of the left elevator trim tab separated in flight. Deteriorated locknut inserts allowed trim tab attachment screws to become loose, ultimately leading to aerodynamic flutter at racing speeds.[29][30][31]
  • August 21 – Wing Walker Todd Green fell 200 feet while attempting an aircraft transfer from a Stearman to a Hughes 369 helicopter at the Selfridge Air National Guard Base Air Show in Harrison Township, Michigan. He was seriously injured and taken to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead.[32]
  • August 20 – A Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team "Red Arrows" aircraft (BAE Hawk T1) crashed after performing at an air show in Bournemouth, Dorset, United Kingdom. The aircraft was witnessed to have plunged into the ground next to the river Stour, near the village of Throop. The pilot, 33-year-old Flt. Lt. Jon Egging, was killed in the crash.[33]
  • August 20 – Stunt pilot Bryan Jensen was killed when his modified Pitts 12 "The Beast" crashed at the Charles B. Wheeler Downtown Airport at the Kansas City Airshow in Kansas City, Missouri, around 1:30pm.[34]
  • 28 July - A General Dynamics F-16C Fighting Falcon, 87-296, of the 187th Fighter Wing, Alabama Air National Guard, flying out of Montgomery Air National Guard Base, overruns the runway at Wittman Regional Airport at the EAA AirVenture Oshkosh airshow in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. The nose gear collapsed, the nose radome broke and the air-frame skidded to a stop. The pilot was uninjured.[35]
  • July 10 - At the Imperial War Museum Duxford in Cambridgeshire, United Kingdom, a North American P-51 Mustang, "Big Beautiful Doll", piloted by Rob Davies and a Douglas A-1 Skyraider were involved in a mid-air collision - The Skyraider pilot was able to land safely despite suffering wing damage, Pilot Rob Davies parachuted to safety and his P-51 crashed and was destroyed.[36]
  • July 9 – A replica Fokker Dr.I lost power at about 600 ft (180 m) above the ground during a mock dogfight at the Geneseo Air Show. The pilot, 67-year-old Joseph Auger, attempted a controlled powerless glide, but the landing gear got caught on cornstalks and flipped over. The pilot was able to extricate himself from the wreckage and sustained only minor injuries.[37]
  • July 3 – A Bücker Jungmann belonging to the Shuttleworth Collection crashed during a practice for that day's display. The pilot walked away from the crash suffering only slight injuries.[38]
  • June 18 - Christen Eagle II aircraft crashed into the river Wisla at the Air Show in Plock, Poland. The pilot Marek Szufa who was also a pilot of Boeing 767 in Polish airlines LOT died three hours later in a hospital. In his life he spent 20 000 hours in the air and took part in many air shows and championships.
  • June 4 – 71-year-old Bill Phipps, an experienced Campbell River, British Columbia pilot, was severely injured while performing aerobatics at the Wings and Wheels event at Nanaimo Airport, British Columbia.[39]
  • March 26 - A Yakovlev Yak-52 crashed during the "Wings Over Flagler" airshow held at Flagler County Airport in Florida. It is reported that 58-year-old "Wild Bill" Walker experienced G-LOC during an aerobatic "heart" maneuver and was fatally injured in the resulting crash.[40]
  • March 12 – While performing their Pirated Skies wing walking act, Kyle and Amanda Franklin were severely injured when their Waco JMF-7 nicknamed "Mystery Ship", suffered an apparent engine failure at the CAF 2011 Air Fiesta in Brownsville, TX. Both were listed as in stable condition with burns covering more than 60% of their bodies. Kyle's burns were not as serious as first reported. Amanda had successful surgery March 16, and was believed to have a good recovery chance at that time, but died on May 27.[41]


  • August 22 - Mike Newman escaped with only three cracked vertebrae after crashing a Swift S-1 aerobatic glider on the runway at an airshow at Shoreham-by-Sea[44]


  • November 14 – Overberg Airshow (Bredasdorp, South Africa) – An English Electric Lightning of Thunder City experienced hydraulic failure while performing. The pilot tried to get the aircraft back to base, after failure of the ejection seat it crashed killing the pilot, Dave Stock, 46.[45][46]
  • September 6 – Brixia Airshow (Montichiari, Italy) – A CAP-10B aircraft hit the ground while performing low altitude aerobatics. Of the two pilots, Marzio Maccarana, 26, was killed and Paolo Castellani, 55, was injured.[47]
  • August 30 – Radom Air Show (Radom, Poland) – A Sukhoi Su-27 aircraft from Belarus crashed while performing an air display, killing both pilots, Col. Alexander Morfintsky and Col. Alexander Zhuravlevich. According to preliminary data, the plane went down after a bird strike.[48]
  • July 4–4 July Air Show (Tehachapi, California) – Pilot Dave Zweigle's L-29 Delfín crashed while making low altitude passes during the airshow. Zweigle and passenger Robert Chamberlain were killed in the accident.[49]


  • June 1 – Lake Bracciano Air Show (Lake BraccianoProvince of Rome, Italy) – Aircraft Commander Captain Filippo Fornassi was killed and co-pilot Captain Fabio Manzella was injured when their NH Industries NH90 tactical transport helicopter struck the water and sank into Lake Bracciano. The crash happened while the helicopter was diving after completing a Fieseler Maneuver.[50]
  • May 10 – Modesto Airport Appreciation Day (Modesto, California) – Pilot Rob Harrison was injured when the Moravan Otrokovice Zlin 50LX aircraft he was piloting crashed while performing a roll maneuver.[51]
  • April 26 – Kindel Air Field (Kindel, Germany) – A Zlin Z-37 Cmelak left the runway on takeoff and veered into a crowd of spectators killing one and injuring ten.[52]
  • April 26 – Spirit of Flight 2008 Air Show (Galveston, Texas) – A Supermarine Spitfire taxied into the rear of a recently restored Hawker Hurricane at the Lone Star Flight Museum airshow. No injuries were reported.[53][54][55]
  • August 18 – Vincent Nasta of Wading River, N.Y. was flying a single-engine French plane in a simulated dogfight Sunday afternoon with a German plane when it crashed about 1,000 feet from the Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome, authorities said. The plane landed in a wooded area and caught fire. Nasta, 47, was the sole occupant.[56]





  • October 15 – Marine Corps Air Station Miramar Air Show (Miramar, California) – Stunt pilot Sean DeRosier was killed when his "Cabo Wabo SkyRocker" failed to pull out of a dive.[75]


F-16 Ejection at Mountain Home
  • September 15 – Gunfighter Skies Air Show (Mountain Home, Idaho) – Pilot error was blamed for the crash of a US Air Force Thunderbirds F-16C. The official report states that the pilot "misinterpreted the altitude required to complete the "Split S" maneuver". The pilot successfully ejected and suffered minor injuries. No other injuries were reported.[76][77]
  • July 12 – Flying Legends Air Show (Duxford, Cambridgeshire, England) – Lieutenant Commander Bill Murton and Neil Rix were killed when the Fairey Firefly they were in went into a nosedive and never recovered. The plane crashed on the eastern side of the M11 motorway.[78]
  • May 31 – Coventry Classic Airshow (Coventry, West Midlands, England) – Swedish pilot Pierre Holländer was killed when his homebuilt replica of Charles Lindbergh's Spirit of St. Louis aircraft crashed. The right hand wing of the plane broke up at an approximate altitude of 100 feet.[79]


  • November 10 – Celebrate Freedom Festival Airshow (Columbia, South Carolina) – Pilot Joe Tobul was killed when his F4U-4 Corsair lost power and crashed in a field. At the time of the crash, the plane was part of a flyover formation.[80]
  • October 2 – Dabolim Naval Air Base, Goa, India. During the squadron Silver Jubilee Celebrations, two Indian Navy IL-38, IN302 and IN304 collided in mid-air while flying in formation, killing all twelve occupants on board the two aircraft (six on each). The planes were flying parallel to each other in close formation in front of many naval high-ranking officials and their families when their wings touched.
  • August 2 – Lowestoft Seafront Air Festival (Lowestoft, Suffolk, England) – Flight Lieutenant Tony Cann safely ejected from the Harrier GR7 he was piloting after an engine failure. He was performing a 'bow' maneuver at an approximate altitude of 50 feet over the sea at the time of the accident.[81]
  • July 27 – Sknyliv airshow disaster (Sknyliv Airfield Lviv, Ukraine) – Pilot Volodymyr Toponar and co-pilot Yuriy Yegorov of the Ukrainian Air Force demonstration team the Ukrainian Falcons ejected from their Sukhoi Su-27 after the left wing struck the ground during a low altitude roll maneuver. The aircraft then struck a parked Ilyushin Il-76 transport and cartwheeled into a crowd of spectators killing 77, including 19 children and injuring over 500.
  • July 21 – Charity Airshow for Thames Valley Air Ambulance (Berkshire, England) – A pilot was injured when his de Havilland Tiger Moth biplane lost altitude rapidly and crash-landed, throwing the 55-year-old pilot clear of the wreckage.[82]
  • July 20 – Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT) airshow (Fairford, Gloucestershire, England) – An Italian Aeritalia G.222 transport made a hard landing which collapsed the nose landing gear. A small fire erupted but was quickly extinguished. No injuries were reported.[83]
  • April 20 – Point Mugu air show (Point Mugu, California) – Navy pilot Commander Michael Norman and radar intercept officer Marine Corps Captain Andrew Muhs were killed when their McDonnell-Douglas QF-4S+ Phantom II stalled and crashed after pulling away from a diamond formation. The Navy report stated in part: "The cause of this tragic accident was the failure of the pilot to manage the energy state of the aircraft, and then to recognize a departure from controlled flight at low altitude, and apply the NATOPS recovery techniques."[84]


  • June 4 – (Rouen, France) – Pilot Martin Sargeant was killed while making an emergency landing in his Supermarine Spitfire, due to engine failure. He tried to land on the designated emergency grass strip, but it was occupied by spectators. In an attempt to turn to a hard runway, his aircraft stalled and crashed.[85][86]
  • June 3 – During the Biggin Hill Airshow a 1944 Bell P63 Kingcobra crashed killing the pilot, former Red Arrow Guy Bancroft-Wilson. The American World War II fighter aircraft had been flying an unplanned sequence, when the pilot lost control at the top of a climbing manoeuvre and was unable to recover from the resulting dive. The aircraft impacted the ground to the west of the runway in a steep nose down attitude.[87] The incident was captured on video.[88]
  • June 2 – During the Biggin Hill Airshow a vintage de Havilland Vampire jet crashed, killing both pilots. The Vampire had been flying a display in tandem with a Sea Vixen, the likely cause of the accident was that the Vampire's flight path had been disrupted by wake turbulence from the larger aircraft.[89]



  • October 3 - California International Airshow (Salinas, California) - Pilot Wayne Handley was seriously injured when his custom built Turbo Raven crashed during maneuvers. The NTSB attributed the crash to pilot error, but Handley attributed it to an engine malfunction.
  • September 18 - Reno Air Races (also known as National Championship Air Races) Pilot Gary Levitz, 61, a 30-year race veteran of Grand Prairie, Texas, was racing his highly modified Mustang P-51, which disintegrated during the Gold Unlimited race, scattering debris and damaging a house in Lemmon Valley, just east of the Stead Airport Base, where the races were being held. The NTSB had determined that the tail empenage failed in flight causing the aircraft to break apart.
  • September 12 - Harriman-West Airport airshow - Both pilots were killed when a Cessna 337C and a Cessna 305C collided in midair while conducting in-trail fly-bys.[92]
  • July 29 – EAA Airventure airshow (Oshkosh, Wisconsin) – Pilot Laird Doctor was seriously injured when his F4U Corsair collided with a stationary F8F Bearcat during its takeoff roll. The Corsair crashed in flames beside the runway and was destroyed. Howard Pardue, the pilot of the Bearcat, was not seriously injured but his aircraft suffered major damage.[93]
  • June 12 – Paris Air Show (Paris, France) – A Russian Air Force Sukhoi Su-30MKI demonstrator '01' (with canards and vectored thrust), crashed at Le Bourget Airport. At the completion of a downward spiralling maneuver, the tail contacted the grass surface. With almost no forward speed the fighter was able to pull away from the ground, wings level, with an up pitch of 10–15 degrees and climb to ~150 feet (46 m), with the right jet nozzle deflected fully up and flames engulfing the left engine. Sukhoi test pilot Vyacheslav Averynov initiated ejection with navigator Vladimir Shendrikh departing the aircraft first. The Zvezda K-36D-3.5 ejection seats worked perfectly and both crew descended on to a taxiway unhurt. The Su-30 impacted some distance from the crew.[94] The incident was captured on video.[95]
  • June 6 – Milan Rastislav Stefanik airport airshow (Bratislava, Slovakia) – Test pilot Graham Wardell was killed when his BAE Systems Hawk 200 failed to pull out of a low turn and struck the ground. A woman spectator was knocked off a nearby rooftop by the force of the explosion and died of her injuries.[96]
  • May 30 - Airshow at Nowra, New South Wales, Australia. A vintage CAC Wirraway crashed during the display, killing pilot Owen O'Malley and observer Phil Lloyd.[97]


  • August 15 – Swanton Morley Airshow (East Dereham, Norfolk, England) – Pilot Christopher Wilkins was killed when his Rollason D31 Turbulent stalled and crashed while performing with the Tiger Club display team.[98]
  • May 19 – DARE Airshow (Manassas, Virginia) – Pilot Dr. Miles Merritt was killed when his Sukhoi Su-29 crashed while performing a skidding turn at too low an "altitude".[99][100]
  • March 1 - Mount Gambier Airshow (Mount Gambier, South Australia)- An Air Tractor AT-802A crashed on aerodrome whilst performing a low-level fire-fighting display. The pilot lost control after attempting a sudden steep climb at high speed and he was killed in the crash. There were no other casualties in the incident.[101]


  • October 12 – (Duxford, Cambridgeshire, England) – The last airworthy World War II German Messerschmitt Bf 109 crashed while being flown by Air Chief Marshal Sir John Allison, Commander-in-Chief of RAF Strike Command. He was unhurt despite the plane coming to rest upside down. The plane, known to be difficult to land due to poor visibility from the cockpit and its narrow-track landing gear, had overshot the runway while landing following the malfunction of its Daimler-Benz DB 605 engine.[102][103]
  • September 20 - Sixth Annual Confederate Air Force Airshow (San Marcos, Texas) An Aerotek Pitts S-2A aerobatic biplane piloted by James Kincaid crashed at the bottom of a snap roll and dive maneuver in front of a crowd of approximately 15,000. The pilot died from his injuries later that day. Witnesses reported that the plane did not have sufficient airspeed at the start of the sequence to keep from crashing at the bottom of the dive.[104][105][106]
  • September 14 – Chesapeake Air Show (Middle River, Maryland) – A Lockheed F-117, 81–793, of the 7th Fighter Squadron, 49th Fighter Wing, at Holloman AFB, New Mexico, lost its port wing at 1500 hrs. during a pass over Martin State Airport, and crashed into a residential area of Bowley's Quarters, Maryland damaging several homes. Four people on the ground received minor injuries and the pilot, Maj. Bryan "B.K." Knight, 36, escaped with minor injuries after ejecting from the aircraft. A month-long Air Force investigation found that four of 39 fasteners for the wing's structural support assembly were apparently left off when the wings were removed and reinstalled in January 1996, according to a report released on 12 December 1997.[citation needed]
  • July 26 – Ostend Airshow (Ostend, Belgium) – Captain Omar Hani Bilal of the Jordanian Air Force display team, the Royal Jordanian Falcons, was killed when he lost control of his Walter Extra EA300s. His plane crashed at the end of the runway and burst into flames near a Red Cross tent and spectator stands. On the ground, eight were killed and forty injured.[107]
  • June 22 – Wings Over Long Island Airshow – (Westhampton, New York) – Two planes racing collided over Francis S. Gabreski Airport in front of 15,000 spectators. Pilot Dick Goodlett died when his aircraft crashed and burst into flames. The second plane crash-landed, critically injuring pilot Chris Kalishek.[108]
  • June 1 – Air Show Colorado 1997 (Broomfield, Colorado) – Ret. Colonel "Smiling Jack" Jack M. Rosamond was killed when he lost control of his restored F-86 Sabre Jet during an acrobatic loop at the (then known as) Jefferson County Airport. Unseasonably high temperatures combined with the natural high elevation (5,673 ft) of the airport was thought to make the air less dense than expected, leading to poor effectiveness of flight control surfaces. Nobody else was injured in the accident.[109]


  • August 4 – Three Rivers Regatta (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) – Pilot Clarence Speal was killed when the left hand wings on his biplane folded back which caused him to lose control and crash into the Ohio River.[110]
  • July 21 – Barton Aerodrome air show (Barton-upon-Irwell, Greater Manchester, England) – The last de Havilland Mosquito known to be airworthy (serial number RR299), a T Mk III built By D.H. at Leavesden in Spring 1945, crashed with the loss of both crew after suffering loss of engine power when performing a wing-over manoeuvre. The incident was captured on video.[111]
  • July 14 – Flying Legends Air Display (Duxford, Cambridgeshire, England) – Pilot Michael "Hoof" Proudfoot was killed when his Lockheed P-38 Lightning aircraft crashed and cartwheeled while performing a roll maneuver. Several aircraft on the ground were damaged or destroyed.[112]
  • June 2 - Bartlesville Biplane Exposition (Bartlesville, Oklahoma) – Two Biplanes clipped wings on landing, all four aboard killed: William Watson, 71; John Halterman, 51; Rodney Bogan, 41; and Annette Delahay, 45.[113]
  • May 4 - Sertoma Cajun Air Festival (Lafayette, Louisiana) – Pilot Joe Hartung, 44, perished when the Canadian-built Harvard Mk. II he was flying hit the runway while performing a low altitude roll.[114][115]
  • April 16 – EAA Sun 'n Fun (Lakeland, Florida) – Pilot Charlie Hillard was killed when his Hawker Sea Fury flipped over while landing in a crosswind.[116]
  • September 14 – Bob Heale of Spokane was killed while performing at Spokane's Fairchild Air Force Base when his French CAP-10 crashed on its belly onto a dirt field in windy, rainy conditions at the annual Aerospace Days show. Investigators focused on possible mechanical problems with the 21-year-old plane. Bob Heale had been a regular performer at the Silverwood Theme Park in Athol, Idaho.[117][118][119]




  • October 3 - Lanseria Air Show, Lanseria International Airport, Johannesburg, South Africa - Silver Falcon 5, an Atlas Impala Mk1 no 489 piloted by Charles Rudenick, crashed at Lanseria Airport after structural failure. The pilot initiated the ejection sequence half a second before impact. He came out horizontally with the fuselage vertical and a high downward velocity. He was killed when "sucked" into the crash fireball.
  • August 22 – Prairie Air '93 Air Show – (Bloomington, Illinois) – A Pitts Special flown by Charlie Wells crashed while performing a Lomcevak. Wells was killed instantly when the plane hit the ground. No one on the ground was injured, and the airshow continued despite the accident, however no more aerobatic planes performed for the remainder of the day.
  • August 8 – Stockholm Water Festival (Stockholm, Sweden) – A JAS 39 Gripen, 39102, crashed on the central Stockholm island of Långholmen, near the Västerbron bridge, during a slow speed manoeuver. Lars Rådeström, the same pilot as in the 1989 incident ejected safely. Despite large crowds standing by watching, no one on the ground was seriously injured. This crash was caused by a PIO.[citation needed]
  • July 24 – Lebanon, New Hampshire – A biplane collided with a parachutist in the opening act of the Lebanon Airshow. Both the pilot and the parachutist died as a result of the collision. No other injuries were sustained.[127]
  • July 24 – Royal International Air Tattoo – (Fairford, Gloucestershire, England) – Two MiG-29s of the Russian Air Force "Test Pilots" aerobatic team collided in mid-air and crashed away from the public. No one was hurt on the ground, and both pilots (Alexander Beschastonov and Sergey Tresvyatsk)[128] ejected safely. Investigators later determined that pilot error was the cause; one pilot did a reverse loop and disappeared into the clouds, the other one lost sight of his wingman and aborted the routine.[129] The incident was captured on video.[130]
  • June 27 – Concord, New Hampshire – Ron Shelly and his daughter Karen Shelly Duggan, who performed a father daughter wing walking act, were killed when their plane crashed after failing to come out of a roll.[131]
  • May 2 – (Marine Corps Air Station El Toro, California) – A vintage F-86 Sabre crashed and exploded in the middle of a runway after civilian pilot James A. Gregory failed to come out of a vertical loop several hundred feet in front of spectators. The impact killed the pilot and sent flaming debris along the runway. No one on the ground was injured.[132] The incident was captured on video.[133]



  • September 23 – (Baltimore County, Maryland) – 62-year-old pilot Jack B. Poage died after crashing his red-and-white Pitts S-2B during an air show at Martin State Airport when he failed to leave enough altitude to recover from a flat-spin maneuver.[137] Carroll County Regional Airport, which he managed at the time, was given the additional name Jack B. Poage Field in his honor.[138]
  • September 16 – (Pápa, Hungary) – A Hungarian MIG 23MF "04" crashed during an aerobatic display. The pilot, Major Károly Soproni died.[139]
  • September 9 – (Salgareda, Italy) – A Soviet Su-27 coded "14 Red" crashed during an aerobatic display, killing its test pilot Rimantas Stankevičius.[140]
  • August 2 – (Oshkosh, Wisconsin) – pilot John Lewkowicz died after crashing his Boeing Stearman A75N-1 during an air show at the annual EAA National Convention Wittman Field. The aircraft was engaged in performing aerobatic maneuvers, entered a slow roll to the left, and at approximately the inverted position, the aircraft departed controlled flight. It then entered into an uncommanded snap roll to the left. The aircraft completed three-quarters of the roll, stopped in knife-edge flight and descended approximately 200 to 300 feet into the terrain.[141]
  • July 2 – Friendship Festival (Buffalo, New York) – Pilot Giff Foley was killed when his AT-6 lost altitude and crashed into the Niagara River.[142]
  • July 1 – National Capital Air Show (Ottawa, Ontario, Canada) – Harry E. Tope was killed when his P-51 Mustang crashed into a golf course.[143]
  • June 30 – Groton Air Show (Groton, Connecticut) – Russell Gage was killed while attempting to roll his aircraft on takeoff.[144]
  • June 17 – (Oklahoma City, US) – A small aircraft piloted by aerobatic champion Tom Jones crashed while performing during the Oklahoma City air show "Aerospace America." He was killed in the crash that was attributed to a low altitude stall.[145][146]


  • 3 September – Canadian International Air Show (Toronto, Ontario) – Captain Shane Antaya, flying for the Canadian Forces Snowbirds team died after a mid-air collision during a demonstration when his Tutor crashed into Lake Ontario. During the same accident, team commander Major Dan Dempsey safely ejected from his aircraft.[147]
  • June 8 – Paris Air Show (Paris, France) – During a low-speed, high angle-of-attack portion of Mikoyan's test pilot Anatoliy Kvochur's routine display flight, a bird sucked into the turbofan of his MiG-29's right engine caused it to malfunction. After steering the MiG away from spectators, Kvochur managed to eject from the MiG seconds before his aircraft hit the ground.[148] The incident was captured on video.[149]


  • August 28 – Ramstein airshow disaster (Ramstein, Germany) – Three members of Italy's Frecce Tricolori Air Force Display Team flying Aermacchi MB-339's were involved in a mid-air collision. Three pilots, Lt. Col. Ivo Nutarelli, Lt. Col. Mario Naldini and Cap. Giorgio Alessio were killed, wreckage from the collision landed on the spectators, killing 67 people and seriously injuring 346.
  • June 26 – Air France Flight 296 (Mulhouse, Alsace, France) – While performing a gear down low speed pass, a chartered Air France Airbus A320 lost altitude and crashed into a treeline. Three of the 136 persons aboard were killed.
  • April 24 – (Marine Corps Air Station El Toro, California) – Marine Corps Colonel Jerry Cadick, then commanding officer of MAG-11, was performing aerobatics before a crowd of 300,000 when he crashed his F/A-18 Hornet at the bottom of a loop that was too close to the ground. The aircraft was in a nose-high attitude, but still carrying too much momentum toward the ground when it impacted at more than 300 mph (480 km/h). Col. Cadick was subjected to extremely high G forces that resulted in his face making contact with the control stick, sustaining serious injuries. He broke his arm, elbow and ribs, exploded a vertebra and collapsed a lung. Col. Cadick survived and retired from the Marine Corps. The F/A-18 remained largely intact but was beyond repair.[150]


  • September 6 – Mammoth Lakes Air Show – Civilian stunt pilot Gary Loundagin, 42, of Livermore, California, was killed when his vintage T-34B aircraft crashed, he had executed a loop maneuver with insufficient altitude for recovery. The aircraft impacted next to the runway but did not explode. The high elevation of the airport was probably not accounted for by Loundagin, contributing to the mishap.[151]


  • June 28 – SHAPE International Air Show, Chièvres Air Base, Belgium – After hovering a Hawker Siddeley Harrier GR.3 with a rearward movement, parallel to the public line at about 200 meters of altitude, R.A.F. Flt. Lt. Brian D. Weatherley ended with a nose down attitude that seemed steeper than usual. The aircraft nose kept going down past a recoverable angle. The pilot ejected while the aircraft was pointing straight towards the ground, still roughly stationary. He hit the ground before his parachute opened and later died from injuries sustained in the ejection. The aircraft (XW769) fell to the ground without explosion, but was deemed unrecoverable.[152]


  • July 13 – Western New York Air Show '85 (Niagara Falls International Airport, New York) – Blue Angels Aircraft 5, BuNo 155029, and 6, BuNo 154992, both Douglas A-4F Skyhawks, collided at the top of a loop, killing Lt. Cmdr. Michael Gershon. The other pilot, Lt. Andy Caputi, ejected safely with only minor injuries. One Skyhawk crashed in the airport grounds while the second fighter fell onto a nearby auto junkyard.[153][154] The demonstration team resumed their show duties on July 20 at Dayton, Ohio but omitted the maneuver that resulted in the crash, and flew with five planes rather than six.[155]
  • May 5 – Lemoore Naval Air Station Air Show – Civilian stunt pilot Kirk R. McKee of Sacramento, California, stalled his AT6A "Texan" aircraft after recovering from a Reverse Cuban Eight maneuver at low altitude. The aircraft crashed in an inverted, nose down attitude and exploded.[156]
  • April 27 - An AT-6 crashed during an air show at the El Toro Marine Corps Air Station when it apparently lost power, snagged a power line, smacked into the street and then slid into the chapel, killing the pilot Merrel Richard Gossman, 55, and passenger Robert G. Arrowsmith, 25. No one on the ground was hurt.[157]


  • Sept 4 A de Havilland Canada DHC-5D Buffalo plane, registered C-GCTC, was damaged beyond repair in an accident during the 1984 Farnborough Airshow. Following a STOL display, the aircraft performed a very steep descending right turn onto the threshold of the runway. Shortly before touchdown the rate of descent reduced slightly. The aircraft then landed very hard. The nose gear collapsed, both wings failed and the propellers disintegrated after contacting the runway. Debris caused some damage to vehicles and three aircraft in the static display area.
  • June 3 - Großostheim near Aschaffenburg, Germany - A Hawker Siddeley Harrier GR3 launched vertically for a demonstration flight in front of the audience. The landing gear was extended during the Harrier was hovering. Because of a leak in the fuel supply fuel dripped onto the landing gear and ignited. The engine was sucking up smoke and lost thrust. From a height of about 90feet the Harrier crashed next to the runway and burst into flames - around 100feet away from the audience. The pilot was able to escape with the ejection seat but the falling seat killed a spectator.[158]
  • November 11 - Fairview Fly-in and Air Show, Fairview, Oklahoma - Civilian stunt pilot Tom McGuire in a North American SNJ-5, North American T-6 Texan, registered N91047, was recovering from a left aileron roll, the aircraft nose dropped and the aircraft turned 45 degrees to the right of the runway heading, it then impacted the ground in a shallow dive with the right wing low, killing the pilot. No one on the ground was hurt.[159]


  • September 11 – Plainview, Texas – The wings of a Partenavia P.68C separated from the root just outboard of the engine nacelles during a high-speed, high-G maneuver beyond the design parameters of the aircraft and plummeted to the ground, killing the pilot.[160]
  • July 31 – Experimental Aircraft Association (Oskosh, Wisconsin) – Arlin Pestes was killed when his Van's Aircraft RV-3 lost altitude and crashed during a formation fly over.[161]
  • May 22 – (Rhein-Main Air Base, Frankfurt, Germany) – A Canadian Forces CF-104 Starfighter, 104813, of 439 Sqn., exploded in mid-air. Wreckage falling on a nearby road hit the car of priest Martin Jürges and killed three adults and two children. The sixth passenger in the car, Jürges' niece, died months later from her burns. A Canadian Forces spokesman said that the CF-104, flown by Capt. Alan J. Stephenson, 27, was in a formation of five Starfighters, and that he was to do a solo display. He had done two complete circuits and had leveled off for a low-speed fly-past when the plane malfunctioned. He ejected safely.[162]


  • November 14 - (Hamamatsu, Japan) - Captain Takashima Kiyoshi was killed and 12 spectators were injured when the Mitsubishi T-2B he was flying, as part of the Blue Impulse aerobatic demonstration team, failed to pull out of a vertical dive and crashed into a building. [163]
  • September 11 – (Mannheim, Germany) – A United States Army CH-47 Chinook (serial number 74-22292) crashed while carrying British, French, and German parachutists who planned to jump when the helicopter reached an altitude of 12,000 ft (3,700 m). All 46 aboard were killed. The crash was later found to be caused by an accumulation of ground walnut shells that had been used to clean the machinery.[164][165][166]


  • May 9 – (Hill Air Force Base, Utah) – A U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds Northrop T-38 Talon crashed while performing the Hi-Lo Maneuver, killing pilot Captain David "Nick" Hauck.[167] Capt. Hauk, in Thunderbird 6, crashed while attempting to land his ailing T-38 after an engine malfunctioned and caught fire. With black smoke billowing from the exhaust and the aircraft losing altitude in a high nose-up attitude, the safety officer on the ground radioed Capt Hauck: "You’re on fire, punch out", to which he responded: “Hang on... we have a bunch of people down there”. The aircraft continued to fight to stay airborne for about ½ a mile before hitting a large oak tree and a barn, then sliding across a field and flipping as it traversed an irrigation canal ultimately erupting into a fireball just a few hundred feet from the runway's end. No one on the ground was injured even though the accident occurred adjacent to a roadway packed with onlookers.[168]


  • September 21 – (Biggin Hill, London, England) – A Douglas A-26 Invader crashed during an air display. The aircraft was attempting to carry out a climbing roll in front of the crowd when the nose dropped sharply, and the aircraft continued rolling until it dropped vertically into a valley. The pilot and seven passengers were killed. The Civil Aviation Authority subsequently introduced rules preventing passengers from being carried during air displays.[169]
  • June 15 - (Shannon Airport, Fredericksburg, Virginia) - Sgt. 1st Class Tom Johnson, a parachute jumper with the U.S. Army Golden Knights, fell over 10,000 feet to his death when both of his parachutes (main and reserve) failed to deploy.



  • October 9 - Lanseria Airport, near Johannesburg, South Africa - Demonstration Pilot Peter Philips flying a Britten-Norman Trislander in flying display performed a second wing-over and had insufficient altitude to recover. Impacted the runway and bounced into the air and came to rest some 500m further off to the side of the runway. The flying controls were disabled and main gear detached. One wing engine detached. Philips was accompanied by Mike Wrigly - both survived with minor injuries although had to spend a few days in hospital. Aircraft written off.
  • September 23 – Suffolk Air Fair press preview (Westhampton Beach, New York) – Stunt pilot Edward H. Mahler was killed at Suffolk County Airport when the tail section of his biplane separated at an altitude of 300 feet. An hour before the accident he had repaired a loose strut on the tail section of his plane.[173]
  • September 2 – Canadian International Air Show (Toronto, Canada) – Pilot Alan Ness was killed when his Fairey Firefly lost alititude and crashed in Lake Ontario while taking part in a formation flight.[174]
  • June 3 – Paris Air Show (Paris, France) – Test pilot Howard W. "Sam" Nelson was killed when his A-10 Thunderbolt II crashed after coming out of a loop at low altitude.[175]
  • May 15 – Biggin Hill Air Show (Biggin Hill, London, England) – Five persons were killed and one injured when a sightseeing helicopter struck the underside of a de Havilland Tiger Moth biplane at an altitude of 200 feet. The biplane, with "its undercarriage sheared off", was able to land safely with no injuries to the pilot or passenger.


  • September 26 – Weyers Cave Air Show (Weyers Cave, Virginia) – Flight instructor Jerry Pressen was killed when his plane stalled as he pulled out of a climb and crashed.[176]
  • August 28 – Gathering of Warbirds (Fresno, California) – Pilot Cliff Anderson was killed when his home built Stolp Starduster I SA100 aerobatic biplane crashed and burned after he was unable to recover from an inverted spin.[177]


  • September 13 – Reno Air Races – M.D. Washburn, 40, of Houston, Texas, died when the wing of his North American T-6 Texan clipped a pylon and crashed while in a tight formation at the start of the race.
  • September 13 – Reno Air Races – While wing walking, Gordon McCollom of Costa Mesa, Calif. was hanging under a plane piloted by Joe Hughes. It suddenly dropped too close to the runway in what one official called a "freakish downdraft" and McCollom scraped his upper head on the runway, dying instantly. Hughes was able to regain control of the plane and land. The accident occurred directly in front of the grandstand just 15 minutes after Washburn's fatal accident.



  • June 3 – Paris Air Show (Paris, France) – The first production Tupolev Tu-144 supersonic airliner crashed after it disintegrated in mid-air during a flight demonstration, killing all six on board and eight on the ground. The cause of the crash remains controversial and the focus of several conspiracy theories.
  • July 8 – Lake Charles, LA – Lt. Steve Lambert, flying a Blue Angels F-4J Phantom II s/n 153876, had a mechanical issue and had to eject from his aircraft during that Sunday's performance. Lt. Lambert survived with only minor scratches, his aircraft was destroyed.


  • September 24 – Golden West Sport Aviation Show (Sacramento, California) – A privately owned F-86 Sabre jet piloted by Richard Bingham failed to take off while leaving the show. The jet went through a chain link fence at the end of the runway, across Freeport Boulevard, crushed a parked car and then crashed into a local Farrell's Ice Cream Parlour. Twenty-two people were killed, including twelve children and two people in the parked car.[179]
  • June 10 – Trenton Air Show at CFB Trenton, Ontario – Canadian air force Snowbirds solo Captain Lloyd Waterer died after a wingtip collision with the other solo aircraft while performing an opposing solo manoeuvre.[180]
  • June 4 – Transpo 72 Airshow (Washington, D.C.) – Major Joe Howard of the US Air Force Thunderbirds flying Thunderbird 3 was killed at Dulles International Airport when his F-4E-32-MC Phantom II, 66-0321, lost power during a vertical maneuver. The pilot broke out of formation just after he completed a wedge roll and was ascending at around 2,500 feet AGL. The aircraft staggered and descended in a flat attitude with little forward speed. Although Major Howard ejected and descended under a good canopy, winds blew him into the ascending fireball. The parachute melted and the pilot plummeted 200 feet, sustaining fatal injuries.[181]



  • September 11 - Farnborough Air Show (Hampshire, England) - A Wallis WA-117 Gyrocoptor was being demonstrated at the Society of British Aerospace Companies (SBAC). After a high speed downwind run parallel to the runway the aircraft first pitched rapidly nose-up, then nose-down, and went out of control, the rotor blades striking the propeller, fin and rudder as it fell to the ground . The pilot was killed instantly.
  • August 30 – (Cedar Rapids, Iowa) – One of the members of the US Navy Blue Angels belly-landed at Eastern Iowa Airport with one engine stuck in afterburner. The pilot ejected safely, the aircraft ran off the runway.[185]
  • June 1970 – Woodford airshow Cheshire, Hornet Gyrocoptor crashed killing the pilot, rotor broke smashing the rudder causing the gyrocoptor to lose control.


  • August 8 – Abbotsford Air Show (Abbotsford, British Columbia) – At noon a Boeing 747 airliner made its Canadian debut with a low flypast to open the first day of the three-day airshow. This was followed a few minutes later by an inverted pass of a much smaller aircraft along the same flight line. Nearing midfield the Mini Mustang N9N suddenly dove vertically into the ground killing the pilot, 20-year-old flight instructor Scott Nelskog from Washington State.[186][187]
  • June 4 – Reading Air Show (Reading, Pennsylvania) – Captain Dick Schram, a Naval Reserve Aviator "billed as the Flying Professor", was killed when his Piper Cub failed to pull out of a dive during a comedy flying routine. His son, a public affairs officer with the United States Navy Blue Angels, was announcing the routine at the time of the crash.[188]


  • September 20 – Farnborough Air Show (Hampshire, England) – Six members of the French Air Force were killed when their Breguet 1150 Atlantic crashed while performing a single engine demonstration.[189]


  • October 21 - Thunderbirds F-100D piloted by Tony McPeak crashed at Laughlin AFB, TX. The accident occurred during the "Bomb Burst" maneuver when the solo aircraft piloted by McPeak shed its wings during a vertical rolling climb. The accident was attributed to failure of the wing structure due to fatigue. McPeak successfully ejected from the aircraft.
  • June 4 – Le Bourget Air Show (Paris France) – Capt. Didier Duthois, deputy leader of the Patrouille de France Display Team, died when he failed to pull out and pancaked after the final downward bomb-burst.



  • June 15 – Paris Air Show (Paris, France) – United States Air Force Lt Colonel Charles D. Tubbs was killed and two other crewmen injured when their B-58 Hustler bomber crashed. The plane landed short of the runway, struck the "instrument approach beacons" and burst into flames.[193]


  • September 13 – Farnborough Air Display, Farnborough, Hampshire, UK) – Bristol Bulldog Mk.IIA G-ABBB / `K2227' (registered new in 1930) crashed at the SBAC Farnborough show. After several slow loops at low altitude the engine cut out at the top of a loop, possibly due to magneto failure. The pilot had little chance of recovery and the aircraft crashed through the crowd barrier from the outside, the pilot, Ian Williamson, escaping with cuts and bruises.[194]
  • May 9 – (Hamilton AFB, California) – United States Air Force Capt. Eugene J. Devlin was killed when a Republic F-105B Thunderchief, 57-5801, Thunderbird 2, delivered to the US Air Force Thunderbirds demonstration team in April 1964, suffered structural failure and disintegrated during 6G tactical pitch-up for landing after an air display. The failure of the fuselage's upper spine caused the USAF to ground all F-105s and retrofit the fleet with a structural brace, but the air demonstration team reverted to the F-100 Super Sabre and never flew another show in F-105s.[195][196]
  • May 3 – Armed Forces Day exhibition (Bremerhaven, Germany) – Major Thomas Eugene Perfili, an American flight instructor attached to the West German Air Force, was killed in the crash of his Starfighter after losing power while demonstrating rolls. He guided his plane away from spectators but was unable to eject.[197]


  • October 2 - Public Air Display, Sydney Harbor, Australia - Two De Havilland Sea Venoms of the Royal Australian Navy collided during an air display over the Harbor. Lieutenant Albert 'Albie' Riley ejected from his aircraft at only 500 feet and survived with minor injuries. His aircraft crashed into the water close to what would be the site of the Sydney Opera House. The second Venom piloted by Lieutenant B. Roberts, although badly damaged, managed to make it back to its base at Nowra.[198]



  • September 20 – (RAF Syerston, Nottinghamshire, England) – A Rolls-Royce test pilot flying an Avro Vulcan, VX770, in an air display pulled up too hard after a high-speed flyby and exceeded the airframe's structural limits, collapsing the plane's right wing. The aircraft spiraled out of control and crashed, killing the entire aircrew and 3 people on the ground.[201]


  • June 7 – (Hensley Field, Dallas, Texas) – Chance Vought Aircraft pilot James P. Buckner is killed while performing a high-speed flight demonstration in a Vought F8U-1 Crusader for a graduating class from the Naval Postgraduate School. Executing a zoom climb after his low-altitude pass, he apparently overstresses the fighter and it disintegrates before he can eject.[202] The aircraft's wreckage violently explodes at low altitude over Main Street in adjacent Grand Prairie, Texas, inflicting minor injuries to several bystanders, and pieces of the fighter are scattered throughout the floodplain of the nearby Trinity River; Buckner's body is recovered a few hours after the crash.[203]
  • September 5: Canadian International Air Show (Toronto, Ontario) – Royal Canadian Air Force Avro Canada CF-100 Mk.4B 18455 pulled up, flamed out, went into inverted spin and crashed. F/O's H.R. Norris and R.C. Dougall were killed.[205]


  • March 2 – Four Canadair Sabre Mk. 6 fighters of the Royal Canadian Air Force Sky Lancers aerobatics team based at RCAF Station Baden-Soellingen (No. 4 Wing) in West Germany, during a practice over the Rhine Valley, for an upcoming airshow, flew into the ground while flying in an airshow formation. The crash occurred south west of Strasbourg, near the Vosges Mountains and killed all four pilots. This accident brought a halt to RCAF aerobatic flying for several years.[206][207]
  • May 19 – A Royal Canadian Air Force CF-100 Mk. 5 of 428 Squadron crashed after the starboard wing separated during a high speed low level pass during an air show at Kinross AFB, Michigan. One RCAF and one USAF fatality.[208]


  • May 15 - Air Display at Griffith, New South Wales, Australia. Two Hawker Sea Furies of the Royal Australian Navy were written off in a collision on the runway. Neither pilot was hurt in the incident.[214]


  • September 5 – National Aircraft Show (Dayton, Ohio) – Major John L. Armstrong was killed when he crashed his F-86H Sabre while trying to match or break the speed record he had set two days earlier.[215]


  • September 6 – National Aircraft Show (Dayton, Ohio) – Marine pilot Major William T. Tebow was injured when the Sikorsky helicopter he was flying "brushed rotor blades" with another helicopter and crash-landed. Tebow was flying in formation when the accident occurred.[216]
  • September 19 – Canadian International Air Show Royal Canadian Air Force Canadair Sabre 4, piloted by S/L W.R. Greene crashed into Lake Ontario. Greene, who had replaced the originally slated pilot Gordon Bennett, was killed. A T-33 formation team also performing in the show truncated their performance due to low cloud and rain and had entered clouds during looping maneuvers. One aircraft attempted loop recovery without sufficient altitude and hit Lake Ontario.[217]


Northrop F-89 Scorpion disintegrating at Detroit, 1952


  • September 15 – Fall Festival Day (Flagler, Colorado) – Twenty people, including the pilot and 13 children, were killed when a stunt plane piloted by Air Force 1st Lt. Norman Jones of Denver flew in low over the crowd and attempted a loop. The pilot had reportedly arrived late and missed the safety briefing which prohibited flying at less than 500 feet above the ground and banned any stunts near the crowd. Lt. Jones was at an approximate altitude of 200 feet when he began his maneuver. Depending on the account, the maneuver was either a loop[221] or a slow roll.[222]


  • July 7 – (Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland) – The third prototype of three Vought XF7U-1 Cutlass twin-tailed fighters, BuNo 122474, suffered an engine explosion during a flight exhibition. Vought test pilot Paul Thayer ejected and parachuted into two feet of water; the airframe impacted on a Patuxent River island. Thayer was returned safely to the admiral's reviewing stand, where the show announcer asked "What will you do for an encore Mr. Thayer?" The pilot had fractured a small bone at the base of his spine – he later told Vought management that he was the only manager who actually "broke his ass for the Company."[223]


  • July 24 – Junior Chamber of Commerce air show (Sandusky, Ohio) – Lt. Richard H. Glenn received minor injuries when his F-80 Shooting Star crash-landed. The F-80's auxiliary wingtip fuel tanks collapsed when Lt. Glenn pulled out of a dive and he belly-landed the plane in a field.[224]
  • July 4 – Otesgo Airfield (Otsego, Michigan) – Former Navy flight instructor, John Jakus, was killed after his BT-13 Valiant crashed while performing a low altitude roll during an air show performance.[225]
  • January 7 – All-American Air Show (Miami, Florida) – Air Force First Lt. James M. Hall was killed when his P-80 Shooting Star failed to pull up during a low altitude dive.[226]



  • July 4 – Decorah air show (Decorah, Iowa)- Pilot and former WASP Marge Hurlburt was killed when her T-6 Texan crashed while performing a slow roll. At the time she was performing with the "Flying Tigers" aerial circus troupe.[229]
  • June 22 – Wilson-King Sky Show (St. George, Utah) – A teenage spectator was killed, her mother and infant sister were injured, when a light plane involved with the airshow experienced brake failure on landing and crashed into cars parked at the edge of the airfield. The pilot, Bernadine Lewis King, was also injured.[230]
  • June 4 - Veterans of Foreign Wars Airshow (Atlantic Beach, North Carolina) - A U.S. Marine Corps Vought F4U-4 Corsair crashed in the surf at Atlantic Beach, North Carolina during a VFW airshow, and pilot Lt. Gene Dial, of MCAS Cherry Point, North Carolina, walked some 15 feet to shore unhurt. The pilot, with four and a half years of service, said that he crashed once before during a carrier take-off.[231]
  • May 18 – Municipal airport air show (Burlington, Iowa) – Lt. John Peeler was killed when his Navy F4U Corsair crashed into a sandlot baseball game and caught fire a few blocks from the airport. Two teenagers on the ground were killed and seven others injured.[232]


  • November 10 – Tulsa police air patrol show (Tulsa, Oklahoma) – Former Army Air Force instructor Wesley W. Cunningham was killed when his aircraft failed to pull out of a low altitude spin. At the time Cunningham was involved in a skit playing the part of a woman spectator who is chosen from the crowd to fly the airplane.[233]
  • September 16 – Twin Falls Air Show (Twin Falls, Idaho) – Four crew members were killed when their A-26 Invader crashed while performing a loop during a local airshow.[234]
  • August 9 – North Montana State Fair (Great Falls, Montana) – Seven were killed when two A-26 Invader attack bombers, part of a low-flying three-plane formation, collided in mid-air 750 feet in front of a grandstand filled with 20,000 spectators. The wing from one bomber sheared off the tail section of another. The tail-less plane crashed into a horse barn, killing three crew members, three people on the ground and twenty thoroughbred horses; the other bomber managed to continue flying for one or five miles (sources differ) before crashing in a field, killing one of the crew. The third bomber in the formation landed safely.[235]


  • May 27 – Army Air Forces Fair (Wright Field, Dayton, Ohio) – The third prototype Curtiss XP-55 Ascender, 42-78847, crashed during an exhibition, killing the pilot William C. Glasgow and two to four civilians (sources differ) on the ground. The pilot attempted a slow roll after a low pass in formation with a P-38 and a P-51 on each wing, but lost altitude and crashed, sending flaming debris into occupied civilian vehicles on a highway near the airfield.[236]


  • April 14 - Jervis Bay, New South Wales, Australia. Two Royal Australian Air Force Bristol Beauforts collided whilst pulling up from a dummy bomb run during an air display for war correspondents on board a nearby vessel. All eight crew on board the two aircraft were killed. A Fox Movietone News cameraman caught the incident on film.[237]
  • May 17 – Waxahachie, Texas – Flight Instructor Lieutenant William S. Farrish and Sergeant Jasper J. DeMaria, Jr. were killed when their military trainer, from the Army Flying School in Waco, Texas, went into a spin and crashed during an air show.[238]
  • August 1 – Lambert Field, St. Louis, Missouri, USA – Waco CG-4A-RO 42-78839, built by St. Louis contractor Robertson Aircraft Corporation, loses its right-hand wing immediately after being released over the airfield by the tow airplane. Several thousand people had gathered to watch the first public demonstration of the St. Louis-built troop-carrying glider, which was carrying 2 USAAF crewmen, St. Louis mayor William D. Becker, Robertson Aircraft and Lambert Field co-founder Maj. William B. Robertson, and 6 other VIP passengers; all 10 perish in the ensuing crash.[239] The accident is attributed to the failure of a defective wing strut fitting.[240]
  • September 4 - Defense forces public air display, Flemington Racecourse, Melbourne, Australia. A Royal Australian Air Force Vultee Vengeance became inverted at low level after pulling up from a mock bomb dive and went out of control. The aircraft crashed in a nearby industrial suburb, setting fire to a grain mill and narrowly missing a nearby crowded railway station. The plane's occupants, Flight-Lieutenant Richard Roe and his wireless air-gunner James Harris, were both killed. There were no casualties on the ground.[241]


  • October 20 – Marianna airshow (Marianna, Arkansas) – A parachutist and five people on board a sightseeing plane were killed when the plane became entangled in the parachute. The plane had been circling the parachutist during his descent prior to the accident.[242]


  • January 14 – Havana airdrome (Havana, Cuba) – Captain Manuel Orta, a Cuban Army flier, was killed when his Curtis Hawk failed up pull up from a high speed dive and crashed on top of a parked Beechcraft airplane.[243]


  • July 24 – (Campo de Marte, Santa Ana, Usaquén, Colombia) – A pilot performing an aerobatic display crashed a Curtiss Hawk II into a crowd attending a military review. Sources differ on the number killed and injured; up to 75 died and 100 or more were injured. According to Time magazine, the pilot, Flight Lt. Cesar Abadia of the Colombian Air Force, disregarded standing orders not to fly below 500 feet and attempted to dive through a narrow gap between two grandstands. The pilot misjudged his approach and a wingtip hit the Diplomatic stand; the plane then smashed against the Presidential stand and exploded, raining flaming debris down on spectators located between the two grandstands.[244][245][246][247]


  • December 4 – Miami Air Show – (Miami, Florida) – Rudy Kling and Frank Haines were killed in separate crashes, within seconds of each other, during a speed race. It was speculated that "Kling lost speed in a low altitude turn and Haines was caught in Kling's propeller wash" causing him to crash 150 yards beyond Kling's wreckage.[248]


  • May 18 - Moscow, USSR - a crash of a giant propaganda plane Tupolev ANT-20 Maxim Gorky during a demonstration flight over Moscow. As a result of a poorly executed loop manoeuvre around the plane performed by an accompanying I-5 fighter (pilot - Nikolai Blagin), both planes collided. Forty-six people aboard both planes were killed.



  • October 30 - (Amarillo, Texas) - Four members of a flying circus troupe were killed after a mid-air collision over the city. The planes were flying through streamers dropped by a third aircraft when the collision occurred.[250]


  • May 22- American Legion Air Circus (Delano, California) - Pilot Fred Larson, flying the sister ship of the Spirit of St. Louis, was killed and passenger William Simmons was injured after their plane lost altitude while making a turn. The plane's wing struck the ground causing the plane to flip over and burst into flames.[251]


  • April 27 – (Fayetteville, Tennessee) – At least nine air show spectators were killed and about twenty injured when pilot Milton P. Covert's plane lost altitude and crashed while approaching the landing area. The victims were standing on a railroad embankment as the plane approached at a low altitude. At the time there were claims that the pilot was deliberately trying to scare the spectators off the embankment. The pilot and his two passengers escaped unhurt, but Covert was later arraigned on charges.[252][253]
  • April 27 - Düsseldorf - Aerial acrobat Willy Hundertmark was killed while attempting a plane change over via a rope ladder while in flight. After successfully getting on the ladder dangling from the upper plane he became entangled and couldn't ascend. After 45 minutes the pilot attempted a low speed landing and dragged Mr Hundertmark "over a long stretch of the field".[254]


  • October 7 - Cross Keys Airport (Altoona, Pennsylvania) - Parachutist Baker Diehl was killed when his parachute failed to open while putting on a display in front of a crowd of 1,000 persons.[255]
  • October 7 - Keystone Airport (Johnstown, Pennsylvania) - Pilot Frank Datin was killed while attempting a low altitude barrel roll. His plane went into a tail spin and crashed into a swamp.[255]


  • November 21 - Santa Monica, California - Parachutist Miss Jean West escaped uninjured following a parachute demonstration accident. Her parachute became entangled on the wing following her jump but the pilot was able to safely land while dragging Miss West several hundred feet.[256]


  • May 24 - Chariton, Iowa - Spectator M.H. Johnson was killed and trapeze performer Eva Murphy was injured during a stunt demonstration. Mr. Murphy was trying to remove Mr. Johnson's hat during a low altitude flyby while hanging from an airplane mounted trapeze. Mr. Johnson was struck and died from a head injury.[257]


  • August 23 - Baer Municipal Aviation Field Fort Wayne, Indiana - Pilot H. Huntley was struck by the propeller of the aircraft he was attempting to start. Huntley was knocked unconscious and suffered a fractured shoulder in the mishap.[258]


  • November 18 – The first aerial refueling-related fatality occurs during an air show at Kelly Field, Texas, when the fuel hose becomes entangled in the right wings of the refueler and the receiver aircraft. The Army Air Service pilot of the refueler, Lt. P. T. Wagner, is killed in the ensuing crash of DH-4B, 23-444.[259]


  • June 17 - Louisville, Kentucky - Army airmen Lieutenant Robert O. Hanley (also reported as Robert E. Hanley) and Sergeant Arthur Opperman are killed when their DH.4, U.S. Army Air Service serial number not recorded, crashed while making a sharp banking turn. Airframe destroyed by post-crash fire.[261] The men were airborne to photograph the airshow that was to shortly begin.[262] The aircraft was assigned to the 7th Photo Section at Godman Field, Camp Knox, Kentucky.[261]
  • September 23 – Mitchel Field, Mineola, New York – A Martin NBS-1 bomber, AS-68487, Raymond E. Davis, pilot,[263] nose dived and crashed from an estimated altitude of 500 feet on a residential street killing the six military personnel on board. At the time, the plane was involved in a night time war game display that was lit by searchlights and watched by an estimated crowd of 25,000 spectators.[264]


  • October 4 - Long Branch, New Jersey - Miss Madeline Davis, a twenty-three-year-old professional stunt flier, was killed while attempting to become the first woman to transfer from a moving automobile to an airplane flying overhead via a rope ladder. She died shortly after losing her grip on the ladder and striking the ground while traveling at approximately forty-five miles per hour.[265]


  • July 5 – Dundalk Flying Field, opened in Baltimore, Maryland in 1920, is almost immediately renamed Logan Field when, on this date, Army Lt. Patrick H. Logan is fatally injured after his Nieuport 28, F6506,[266] nicknamed the "Red Devil," of the 104th Observation Squadron,[267] crashes at the airport's inaugural air show following a stall/spin.[268] In response to the tragedy, the airfield is renamed in his honor, with the announcement of the new name being made at the closing ceremonies of the airshow during which he died.


  • August 23 - Warsaw, Poland - during a public ceremonial flight of the first aircraft built in a free Poland CWL Słowik (a copy of Hannover CL.II), in a presence of Polish chief-of-state Marshal Józef Piłsudski, the aircraft crashed due to faulty strings, killing two crewmen, including its constructor Karol Słowik.[269]


  • October 19, while flying at an exhibition in Macon, Georgia, Eugene Burton Ely was late pulling out of a dive and crashed. Ely jumped clear of the wrecked aircraft, but his neck was broken, and he died a few minutes later. Spectators picked the wreckage clean looking for souvenirs, including Ely's gloves, tie and cap.[270]


See also[edit]


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