T-28 Warbird Aerobatic pilot dies in W.Va. air show crash (Videos)
MARTINSBURG, W.Va. (AP/WJLA) - 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.
The crash occurred a day after a stunt pilot crashed at a Nevada air show Friday, killing nine.
"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.
The team is known as the Trojan Horsemen and its website says Jack "Flash" Mangan is part of the alternate wing. His biography on the site says he is a former Air Force fighter pilot who won three Meritorious Service Medals and Tactical Air Command's Instructor Pilot of the Year.
A message left at Mangan's North Carolina home was not immediately returned on Saturday.
According to The Boeing Co.'s website, the North American T-28 Trojan was a basic trainer that was used by the U.S Navy, including for carrier operation. Its first flight was in 1949 and it was designed to transition pilots to jet aircraft.
Video Credit: Joshua Arrington
Video Credit: Lisa Dillon