Pilot Dies When Plane Crashes At Dayton Air Show
POSTED: 3:49 pm EDT July 28, 2007
UPDATED: 6:41 pm EDT July 28, 2007
DAYTON -- A plane performing a stunt crashed into a runway Saturday before thousands of people at the annual air show at Dayton International Airport, a show official said.
The pilot, Jim LeRoy, was taken to Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton where he was prounounced dead. LeRoy had been flying at air shows for 14 years.
The plane was one of two making loop-to-loops with smoke trailing as part of the show just after 2:30 p.m. when Leroy's plane, "Mary's Lamb" slammed into the runway and caught fire.
Fire trucks sprayed foam on the wreckage to extinguish the fire.
The crowd stood stunned as the show was shut down, witnesses said.
"It came down and didn't have enough room," said Aaron Smith, of Troy, who was watching the exhibition with his 5-year-old son, Weston. "I could hear it crunch, hard. Some pieces came off."
Airport fire chief Mark Carpenter said it took less than a minute for fire trucks to arrive and start putting out the fire.
He said LeRoy's plane struck the ground at an angle and slid about 300 yards after impact, bursting into flames and spewing black smoke.
"We cut Mr. LeRoy out of the aircraft," Carpenter said.
Officials said the crash was the first fatal crash in Dayton Air Show history.
A performance by the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds was canceled. But officials said people who had ticket stubs from Saturday would be admitted to Sunday's scheduled performance.