A vintage British fighter jet taking part in the Oregon International Air Show July 16 crashed shortly after takeoff. The pilot, 73-year-old Robert Guilford of Los Angeles, died in the crash.
The aircraft, a Hawker Hunter, had been part of the warbird display at the show. Guilford, who was described as an experienced pilot, was on his way home when the crash happened around 4:30 p.m.
“It was a scheduled departure,” said Steve Callaway, show spokesman. “It was my understanding that he was going to do a fly by.”
Witnesses say it appeared that the aircraft lost power before it went down nose-first in a subdivision close to the airport and burst into flames. One home was destroyed by fire and three others damaged. There were no injuries on the ground except for a firefighter who was treated for heat exhaustion.
Callaway stressed that Guilford had been part of the static display and was not an air show performer.
The remaining aerial acts were cancelled. This was the first crash in the air show’s 19-year history.
The FAA and the NTSB are investigating the crash.