Mon, Sep 27, 2004
Bushmaster goes down in parking lot, both pilots and two women
in one car injured
A Ford Tri-Motor/Bushmaster replica built in 1986 crashed
Saturday onto Commonwealth Avenue in Fullerton (CA) immediately
after a "troubled takeoff," in front of hundreds of onlookers
gathered at the Fullerton Municipal Airport in Orange County.
As it crashed, it sideswipped a car. The two women in the car
had minor injuries, possibly thanks to the deployment of their
vehicle's airbags, while the pilot and co-pilot were critically
injured with burns and bruises, the L.A. Times reported.
According to eyewitnesses, the plane veered off the runway
during the takeoff roll, As the craft approached a crowd of people
attending Airport Day, as well as the tower, the pilot pulled the
plane into a steep climb to clear the obstacles. The plane then
stalled and "nosedived" onto the busy street, hitting the car with
its wing and spinning across the multi-lane road. The fuselage
ended up wrapped around a concrete light standard.
"The Bushmaster, a replica of an antique passenger plane
containing three Ford motors, was taking off as part of a
post-maintenance test flight," Fullerton Police Sgt. Steve Matson
told the San Jose Mercury News. The airport was closed for the
remainder of the day while the NTSB investigated the accident.
A witness who claims to have helped the pilot free from his seat
stated that the pilot was all but ejected from the plane by the
force of the crash.
(Bushmaster photo at Camarillo Airshow courtesy of ANN
contributor John "Janko" Lewis, post-crash photos (C) 2004 by
Michael Gibbs, all used with permission)
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