One person was killed Friday afternoon when two warbirds collided on the south end of the north-south runway at Wittman Regional Airport.
Witnesses on the AirVenture grounds reported seeing two P-51 Mustangs approach the south end of Runway 18/36 for what appeared to be a formation landing when the propeller of one Mustang caught the tail of the other, flipping it onto its nose. The aircraft in the rear tried to pull around the crashed aircraft and flipped over in the process, witnesses said.
One plane is covered with a tarp and appears to be upside down in grass east of the runway. The other plane came to a stop with its nose down, about 100 feet north of the other plane.
Onlookers said they realized that they had likely witnessed a fatal accident when they saw emergency responders begin to cover the airplane with a tarp.
“That's what upset us most. You can replace the metal you can't replace the man,” said Barry Morris from Georgia.
The pilot of the aircraft that ended up on its nose was able to walk away from the crash, witnesses reported.
The National Transportation Safety Board and Federal Aviation Administration are both investigating the crash.
The afternoon AirVenture air show has been cancelled, EAA spokesman Dick Knapinski said.