As air show fans looked on in horror, a Soviet Cold War era plane crashed and burned in Iowa, killing the pilot. The whole thing was captured on video, including the emotional reaction of the crowd as they witnessed the tragedy.
ABC News reports three jets were flying in tight formation as they passed over the crowd at the Quad-City Air Show, when suddenly one of the pilots appeared to lose control. Video shows the planes attempting a complicated maneuver, passing within inches of each other, before the plane went down.
An eyewitness says, “He went down into the ground and he burst into flames… I was instantly in tears because I knew more than likely he didn’t survive.”
The pilot has been identified as 59-year old Glenn Smith from Dallas.
AP reports there was no mayday call or sign of distress before the crash.
The Associated Press reports an investigation is underway by the National Transportation Safety Board. But Senior investigator Aaron Sauer says while a preliminary report should be complete in about a week, the final report will likely take several months to determine exactly what happened.