Plane Crashes at Quad City Air Show
By Shellie Nelson, WQAD
An aircraft reportedly exploded in the air before it crashed during a display at the Quad City Air Show Saturday, September 1, 2012.
The crash happened just after 1 p.m. as planes were performing at the show at Davenport Municipal Airport at Mount Joy.
A witness reported seeing three aircraft flying in apparent formation when the plane on the right side began to drift sideways. The witness said the plane then exploded in the air. She saw a second mid-air explosion, then a third when the plane hit the ground southwest of the airport.
The witness said she did not see anything that looked like a person or parachute in the air.
She also said she saw a helicopter ambulance arrive and leave the scene without landing in the area.
Another witness who said he is an experienced former fighter pilot said he did not think the pilot could have survived the incident.
Preliminary reports indicated the plane involved was part of The Hoppers, a group of private people who fly jets at air shows.
An air show staff member said the aircraft that crashed was an L-39, which is the type of aircraft flown by The Hoppers.
Planes returned to the air at the Quad City Air Show about an hour after the crash, with “Taps” played as some aircraft flew information over the crowd.