On camera: Pilot killed in Iowa air show crash

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Associated Press

Posted on September 2, 2012 at 12:18 PM

Updated Sunday, Sep 2 at 12:19 PM

DAVENPORT, Iowa — A pilot was killed when his plane crashed during an air show in eastern Iowa, authorities said Saturday.

The Soviet-era retired military jet was performing in the Quad-City Air Show in Davenport when the crash occurred, the Quad-City Times reported. Authorities said the jet was flying in formation with other jets when it failed to pull out of a 45-degree bank and crashed into a field north of Interstate 80 around 1:25 p.m. Saturday.

Assistant Davenport Police Chief Don Schaeffer did not identify the pilot, but said he was not from Davenport.

According to Federal Aviation Administration records, the plane is owned by the Warbird Education Foundation of Frisco, Texas. Glenn Smith is CEO and David Mills is director.

Both men are members of the Hoppers flight team that was involved in Saturday's accident, but authorities would not say whether either was flying the plane that crashed.

Schaeffer said at a news conference that the plane flew directly into the ground.

"He never had an opportunity to come out of it," he said.

Nobody on the ground was hurt, but crowds watching the show saw the plane go down and erupt in flames.

Davenport police and federal investigators planned to comb the field Saturday for widely scattered wreckage from the plane.

Schaeffer estimated parts of the plane were strewn over an area up to 220 yards, or a tenth of a mile.

Schaeffer said he had no information about what may have caused the crash. Officials from the Federal Aviation Administration were at the scene, but they did not take part in the news conference.

The crash investigation was expected to resume Sunday morning, Schaeffer said.

WFAA contributed to this report.

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