Plane Appeared To Lose Power Before Going Down
The pilot of a 1951
Hawker Hunter that went down Sunday afternoon at the Oregon
International Air Show in the Portland suburb of Hillsboro has been
Robert Guilford, 72, was departing from the airshow Sunday when
the engine of his vintage British fighter plane appeared to cut
out, and the plane impacted homes in a residential neighborhood
west of the airport.
Guilford (right), a California aviation attorney and flight
instructor with over 4,000 flight hours since 1961, had displayed
the Hunter at the show but was not a performer, according to air
show spokesman Steve Callaway.
"The wreckage is devastating," Callaway said. "The air show
extends its sympathy, concerns and prayers to all of those who have
been impacted by this accident."
Despite damage to at least three homes, and the destruction of a
fourth, the Portland Tribune states there have been no reports of
injuries to those on the ground.
Witness reports state the fighter had just left the field, but
was in the traffic pattern to come back and perform a low flyover
of the runway when the plane appeared to lose power.
Contrary to earlier reports, the plane does not appear to have
been in any kind of aerobatic manuever when it experienced
"As it came in, it pitched up its nose and it looked like he was
trying to stay afloat," said witness Ed Kerbs, who was hosting an
air show party on his lawn. "I was talking to a buddy of mine and I
said, 'Hey, he's flying way too low; he's not going to make it.'
And then there was a plume of smoke and a bang."
Sunday's accident was the first in the 19-year history of the
popular air show.
Make/Model: EXP Description:
HAWKER HUNTER MK58A EXHIBITION
Date: 07/16/2006 Time: 2322
Event Type: Accident Highest Injury:
Fatal Mid Air: N Missing:
City: HILLSBORO State: OR Country:
ACFT WHILE PERFORMING A MANEUVER FOR AN AIRSHOW, CRASHED,
THE ONE PERSON ON
BOARD WAS FATALLY INJURED, HILLSBORO, OR
INJURY DATA Total
# Crew: 1 Fat:
# Pass: 0 Fat:
Fat: 0 Ser:
WEATHER: SPECI KHIO 162326Z VRB06KT 10SM CLR 30/12 A3011
Dep Date: Dep.
Flt Plan: VFR
Last Radio Cont:
FAA FSDO: PORTLAND, OR
Entry date: 07/17/2006