Pilot Dies As Plane Falls On House During Air Show In Cheb
A pilot died when his plane, a WW2-era fighter plane, fell on a house during the Aviation Day show in Cheb, and one person suffered a light injury, emergency rescue service spokesman Radek Hes told CTK.
Police spokeswoman Katerina Peskova said the plane crashed outside the airport at 15:30, falling between houses and a street in Cheb’s Podhrad neighbourhood. Firefighters attending the scene said it partially fell on a detached house.
The organisers ended the air show after the accident.
The rescue service sent three vehicles and a helicopter. The pilot suffered fatal injuries. Another person, a woman, was treated for a minor injury at the scene of the accident.
The pilot of the veteran plane was Czech. The police and the organisers have started inquiring into the circumstances and causes of the accident, which will probably also be examined by the Civil Aviation Authority, the air show spokesman Jiri Poor told CTK.
“This is a huge loss, we are so sorry. Lots of people have been expressing their sympathies on social networks, we are full of emotions,” he said.
According to media information, the plane involved in the accident was a veteran Hawker Hurricane Mk.IV. This plane was used by the British Royal Air Force (RAF) from 1937. From the beginning of WW2, it served in 18 squadrons. It gained fame for its role in the Battle of Britain, and continued fighting in almost all subsequent war battles.
This weekend’s air show in Cheb presented the last plane of this kind which was capable of flying. It belonged to Prague’s Tocna Aviation Museum, whose website says that out of the original 14,583 Hawkers Hurricanes produced, fewer than 15 are still capable of flying, including a single one in the Mk.IV version.
The plane and the entire Aviation Museum are in the possession of Ivo Lukacovic, the owner of the Seznam.cz server, who is a flying enthusiast and holds a pilot’s licence. “The plane lived and made us so happy. Petr lived and everything was fine. Why is it just the nice guys who have to go?” Lukacovic wrote.
Accidents at air shows are not very frequent, but they do occur now and then, sometimes with tragic consequences.
In 2018, a historical plane replica crashed during an aviation day at the Strunkovice nad Blanici airfield, south Bohemia, killing a 72-year-old pilot. In June 2016, an ultralight plane fell during an air show at the airport in Nymburk, central Bohemia. The two-member crew died. One month later, a glider fell during a parade of historical gliders in Plasy, west Bohemia, the pilot escaping with a leg injury.
The aerobatics contest in Kromeriz, south Moravia, in July 2014 became fatal for the pilot of a small plane that caught fire after a fall. In June 2006, a Tiger Moth veteran plane crashed at the European veteran show in Hradec Kralove, injuring no one. There were no victims in the crash of an unmanned Sojka aircraft at the NATO Days show in Mosnov, north Moravia, in September 2005 either.