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Two Zlin Z-526s collide in mid-air during an airshow in Germany

The accident took place over the airport Radom during Airshow, on September 24th, 2022. Two Zlin Z-526 were performing aerobatic maneuvers when they collided in mid-air. Both pilots died from the impact. The planes were completely destroyed.

Midair collision between a B-17 bomber and a P-63 fighter, during an airshow in Dallas, Texas, USA

Dallas, USA – November 12th, 2022 - A Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress and a Bell P-63F Kingcobra collided in mid-air during a fly-by at the Wings Over Dallas Airshow at Dallas Executive Airport, Texas, USA.
The P-63F Kingcobra crossed the B-17 from behind and impacted the aircraft, shearing off the rear fuselage and tail section. Both aircraft broke up and crashed. They were destroyed. The occupants of both aircraft - five on the B-17 and the pilot of the P-63 – were killed.
The Boeing B-17 is one of the most famous bomber from World War II. The P-63F is an American fighter from World War II.

Right wing stalls during very low speed landing

The Just Superstol aircraft approaches at a very low speed, trying to land on a minimum distance. But the speed is too low, and the right wing stalls. The plane crashed on the runway. Lucky pilot walks away. This happened in Australia in 2015.

Mid-air collision at Duxford airshow: a P51 Mustang collides with a Skyraider

July 10th 2011, Duxford airshow, United Kingdom - A P51 Mustang collided with a Douglas AD-4NA Skyraider during an airshow. The Mustang plummeted into an empty field moments after the pilot bailed out. He suffered minor injuries. The SkyRaider lost a large chunk of its wing tip which fell to the ground. It went into a bit of a dive then sorted itself out, and landed safely with damage to its right wing. Nobody else was hurt.

Mid-air collision along the coastline

Mid-Air collision of two aircraft that were performing aerobatics display along the coastline at Alba Adriatica, Italy, on May 31st 2015. One aircraft, a Van's RV-8, lost a wing and crashed into the sea, killing the pilot. The pilot of the other aircraft, a Van's RV-7, managed to make a forced landing on the shoreline, causing the airplane to flip upside down. The pilot survived.
The Van’s Aircraft RV-7 / RV-8 are two-seat, single-engine, low-wing homebuilt airplanes sold in kit form by Van's Aircraft, and designed for aerobatics.

Hawker crash on busy road during Shoreham airshow

Shoreham-by-Sea, England – 22nd August 2015 – The Hawker Hunter T7 crashed during a display at the Shoreham Airshow. The vintage jet aircraft failed to complete an inside loop aerobatic manoeuvre due to a pilot error : the pilot failed to recognise that the aircraft was too low to perform the loop. The plane crashed in a fireball on the A27 trunk road, smashing into vehicles and pedestrians. 11 people on the ground were killed, and 16 others were injured. 8 vehicles were destroyed in the crash. The pilot survived the crash but was seriously injured.
Investigation report has concluded that the aircraft did not achieve sufficient height at the apex of the accident manoeuvre to complete it before impacting the ground, because the combination of low entry speed and low engine thrust in the upward half of the manoeuvre was insufficient. The pilot failed to carry out an escape manoeuvre.

Redbull Air Race - Ontario (Canada) - The racer nearly crashes

This pilot nearly puts his plane in the Detroit River at the Red Bull Air Race Championships qualifying round in Windsor, Ontario, Canada.

Horrific Nimrod display in Toronto: the plane stalls and crashes in water

This British Aerospace Nimrod crashed on September 2nd 1995 during a display at the Canadian International Air Show (CIAS) at Toronto. All the 7 crewmembers perished.
A combination of the low airspeed and the G-loading led the aircraft to stall, whereupon the port wing dropped to 85° of bank and the nose dropped to 18° below the horizon. Full starboard aileron and full engine power were applied in an attempt to recover the aircraft but, by this stage, there was insufficient height to recover and the aircraft hit the water. The Inquiry determined that the captain made an error of judgement in modifying one of the display manoeuvres to the extent that he stalled the aircraft at a height and attitude from which recovery was impossible.

Extra 300 aerobatic plane crashed during an airshow in Buenos Aires

This Extra 300 aerobatic plane crashed during an airshow in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on 11th March 2007. The pilot (Julio Benvenuto) was killed.

The Pitts S-1 landing gear struck a car with three people onboard

Grossostheim, Germany, july 12th 2009 - The Pitts S-1 pulled up into the vertical and then pushed over into a four turn spin to the left. Although the pilot recovered the aircraft after four turns, there was insufficient height available to safely affect the recovery pull out. During the recovery pull-out, the aircraft undercarriage struck a car which was parked on a road near the airfield; the impact of the collision tore the undercarriage off the aircraft as it crashed inverted in a nearby field.
Amazingly, the three people who were in the car at the moment of impact, suffered scratches and bruises, and the pilot suffered only minor injuries

Reno Air Race - P51 crash into the crowd

This P-51 Mustang crashed right next to the crowd at the Reno, Nevada, USA airshow, killing its pilot and ten people on the ground, and also injuring 69 others, including 16 severely. While racing, the P51 lost its left trim tab. This resulted in a sudden climb of the aircraft with a vertical acceleration of 17g which rang the pilot. Unconscious, the pilot was no longer able to control his plane. This ended terribly bad: The P-51 nose dived into the crowd and smashed almost vertically.

Red arrows accident in 2011 over the seafront in Bournemouth, England

Red arrows accidentAugust 20th 2011 – The Red Arrows (RAF display team) had finished their display over the seafront in Bournemouth (England) and just started heading back to their base when one of the nine Hawk T1 aircraft dramatically lost altitude and smashed into a field. The plane came to a standstill with its nose in the River Stour near the village of Throop. The pilot has been killed.
This footage shows the plane loosing altitude and disappearing below the horizon.

Pilot's error of appreciation with dramatic consequences

The Embraer EMB 312 Tucano belonging to the Esquadrilha da Fumaça aerobatic team of the Brazilian Air Force crashed while performing at an airshow in Santa Catarina, Brazil, on April 02nd 2010. The pilot was killed.

The low altitude roll went terribly wrong

June 4th 2011 – This biplane crashed in Nanaimo, Canada, during the Wings and Wheels air show. After several aerobatic maneuvers, a roll went terribly wrong and the plane fell and crashed in a grassy area to the east of the tarmac. The pilot has been seriously injured.

Mig-29 cut in two after a midair collision with another Mig-29

Midair collision between two Mig 29 Fulcrum at the Fairford International Air Tattoo in Gloucestershire, United Kingdom. One Mig 29 has been cut in two by the wing of the other Mig 29. After having ejected, the two pilots landed safely, with minor injuries. Both aircraft crashed away from the crowd.
Investigators later determined that pilot error was the cause, after one pilot did a reverse loop and disappeared into the clouds, the other one lost sight of his wingman and aborted the routine. The accident occured on 24th July 1993 and involved two plane from the Russian Air Force.

T27 Tucano loop went terribly wrong

April 2nd, 2010 – This T-27 Tucano belonging to the Smoke Squadron was displaying at an airshow in Brazil. It performed an aerobatic manoeuvre that went terribly wrong: the plane crashed and exploded in a ball of fire.

This is why ballistic recovery parachute has been invented

16th August 2010 – Argentina - The wing of this Rans S-9 Chaos broke off while the plane was performing a demonstration during an air show in Argentina. Immediately after the wing snapped off, the pilot activated the full-plane parachute system. After the plane impacted the ground, the pilot walked away uninjured, seconds before the aircraft burst in flames.

Burning Hispano HA-200 landing: the pilot evacuated just in time

A pilot lands its burning Hispano HA-200. He made it right in time, and jumped from the plane before it stopped to escape flames.

RedBull air race crash - Perth, Australia – 15 April 2010 - High speed water impact

The Red Bull Air race is a well famous completion, featuring competitors who fly racer planes a few meters above ground at speeds of up to 250mph through inflatable pylons on mostly water courses.
On April 15, 2010 in Perth Australia, Brazilian pilot Adilson Kindlemann lost control of his aircraft after rounding a pylon during practice. The pilot managed a near wings level impact, tail first, but as the aircraft's fixed landing gear dug into the water, the aircraft flipped, leaving the pilot and the aircraft floating upside down in Perth's Swan River.
Thanks to the underwater emergency training completed by the pilot, and the rapidity of the rescuer to arrive at the crash scene and to extract the pilot from the plane, the pilot suffered only minor injuries.

The Zlin Z-37 Cmelak failed to take off and ploughed into spectators

April 27th, 2008 - A spectator has been killed and at least 10 people injured after an aircraft struck spectators at an airshow, Kindel Air Field, Germany. The Zlin Z-37 Cmelak exited the runway after failing to take off and ploughed into a group that had congregated around a snack stand.

P-51 Mustang collided with another P-51 as they were both landing at Oshkosh air show

On July 27, 2007, an amateur-built P-51A Mustang collided with the tail section of a North American P-51D Mustang as it was landing during the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) AirVenture Oshkosh air show (Oshkosh, WI). The aircraft in the rear flipped over and burst in flame. The other plane came to a stop with its nose down. The pilot of the aircraft that ended up on its nose was able to walk away from the crash. The pilot of the other plane was killed.

Two planes collided in mid-air and crashed at Radom air show, Poland, in 2007

Two pilots were killed after colliding in mid-air on September 1st 2007 during an aerobatics display at an air show in Radom, Poland. The collision occurred when a three-ship formation spread out and then attempted to re-converge, resulting in two of the aircraft from the Zelazny display team slamming into each other.

De Havilland Chipmunk crash due to pilot misjudgement

During an aerobatic display at Wanaka, New Zealand, on 3 April 1994 this De Havilland Chipmunk collided with the ground killing the pilot. Probable causes are a misjudgement of loss of height and/or a mistaken impression regarding the aircraft height above ground prior to manoeuvre commencement.

The pilot pulls too many G loads and the wings breaks apart

This is what can happen when you pull too many Gs.
September 11th, 1983 - Airshow in Plainview, TX, USA - The pilot was executing a high speed pass over the runway at about 250 ft above the ground. The pilot then began a rapid pull-up and both wings separated just outboard of the engine nacelles. The 'g' load at the time of the wing separations would have been 8.3 g's. The plane, a Partenavia P68C, was not design for so high a G load. The pilot was killed.

F-86 crashed at El-Toro Airshow

This F-86 crashed at El-Toro Airshow (USA, California) in 1993. The pilot pulled up too late and crashed very close to the spectators. He was killed.

Sknyliv disaster - Su-27 crashes into crowd during an airshow

Sknyliv airshow disaster - 27 July 2002 - Lviv, Ukraine – The Sknyliv airshow disaster of 2002 was a tragic event that unfolded during an airshow at Sknyliv Airfield in Ukraine. As spectators gathered to watch the aerial display on July 27, a Ukrainian Air Force Sukhoi Su-27 fighter jet piloted by Volodymyr Toponar experienced difficulties during a low-altitude maneuver. Toponar lost control of the aircraft, causing it to plummet into the crowd before erupting into flames. The crash resulted in 77 fatalities and over 500 injuries, making it one of the deadliest airshow accidents in history.

The aftermath of the disaster revealed a series of contributing factors. Investigations found that Toponar had violated safety protocols by performing a risky maneuver at an inappropriate altitude and proximity to the audience. Furthermore, inadequate crowd control measures and organizational failures exacerbated the severity of the incident. The lack of sufficient barriers between the spectators and the runway meant that there was little protection when the jet crashed.

The Sknyliv tragedy prompted widespread scrutiny of airshow safety practices and sparked calls for reforms. Authorities implemented stricter regulations regarding flight maneuvers, pilot training, and crowd management protocols to prevent similar accidents in the future. The disaster also underscored the importance of comprehensive safety assessments and coordination between event organizers, aviation authorities, and emergency responders.

In addition to the immediate response efforts to treat the injured and manage the fallout, the Sknyliv disaster prompted a broader reevaluation of airshow safety standards worldwide. The lessons learned from this tragic event led to improvements in risk mitigation strategies, emergency preparedness, and regulatory oversight within the aviation community. Despite the devastation caused by the Sknyliv airshow disaster, it served as a catalyst for positive change aimed at preventing similar incidents and ensuring the safety of both participants and spectators at airshows globally.

Response of the Gripen automatic flight control systems led to a loss of control and crash

This spectacular crash of a Saab JAS 39 Gripen occurred on 8th August 1993 during a slow speed maneuver during a display over the Stockholm Water Festival (Sweden). The response of the automatic flight control systems to the pilot commands was inadequate, and caused the plane to become unflyable. The pilot ejected safely, and the plane crashed just 30 meters from thousands of spectators.

Two planes collided in mid-air and crashed at Kissimmee Air Show, USA, in 1998

April 1998 - Four antique biplanes of the Red Baron Flying Group were nearing the end of their performance at Kissimmee Air Show of the Stars in Florida when two of them crashed into each other 1,500 feet above the ground. The two pilots of the single-engine Stearman aircraft were killed.

The Spitfire loop ended badly

This Supermarine Spitfire loop went terribly wrong after the pilot misdjudged its altitude.

Corsair at full power on takeoff roll struck a Grumman Bearcat standing on the runway

July 29, 1999 - Wittman Regional Airport, Oshkosh, Wisconsin (USA) – A Corsair at full power on takeoff roll struck a Grumman Bearcat standing on the runway and burst into flames. A second Corsair, on takeoff roll in formation with the first one, sustained substantial damage when the pilot saw a second Grumman Bearcat positioned on the runway in front of his plane, and elected to steer his airplane off of the runway to avoid the other airplane.
The pilot of the first Corsair was seriously injured. The pilot of the Grumman Bearcat reported no injuries. The pilot of the second Corsair received minor injuries.

Mid-air collision during an airshow

Two small planes collide in mid-air during a demonstration. They both crashed, killing the pilots.

DHC-5 breaks apart on landing at Farnborough Airshow

This cargo deHavilland DHC-5D Buffalo crashed at Farnborough Airshow in 1984. Nobody was hurt.
The pilot was flying a demonstration STOL landing (landing on a very short distance) with a substantial tailwind. The tailwind contributed to him misjudging the turn onto final for his landing. Consequently, the aircraft approached too slowly and the pilot was unable to pitch up and flare for the landing. It is also possible that a failure of the right propeller has contributed to the accident.

Two stunt planes collided in mid-air and crashed

On September 10th 2006, these two stunt planes crashed into the sea during a competition between acrobatic pilots in the sky above the Malta, where the Aero GP Event was being held. One of the planes started losing altitude, slammed into the other and cut its tail with the right wing. One pilot was killed. The pilot of the second plane managed to eject safely.

Fatal P-38 roll at Duxford Airshow in 1996

This Lockheed P-38J Lightning crash occurred in the United Kingdom during the July 1996 Duxford Airshow. The fatal roll was part of the display sequence, but it continued for more rotations than planned. No mechanical reason for the crash has been found, but it is believed that a temporary obstruction of the controls by an object may be the root cause. The pilot has been killed.

Two planes collided in mid-air and crashed at Saskatchewan Air Show, Canada, in 2005

On July 10th 2005, three planes (a Waco UPF-7, a Wolf-Samson and a Pitts) were engaged in a simulated dogfighting display at Moose Jaw / Air Vice Marshal C.M. McEwen Airport as part of the Saskatchewan Air Show (a ground display featuring a jet-powered truck called Shockwave was part of the act).
During the execution of a series of crossing , the Waco and the Wolf-Samson collided near show centre. Both biplanes caught fire and crashed. Both pilots were killed at impact, and both aircraft were destroyed. All debris fell away from the crowd.

Warbirds mid-air collision during World War II

On April 14th, 1943, these three World War II warbirds (known as Bolingbroke Mk IV) from the Royal Australian Air Force were performing a low pass for the cameras. When the aircraft at the center climbed, its tail hit the left wing tip of the aircraft on the right. Both aircraft are damaged and became uncontrollable. They both crash, killing their pilot.

Russian SU-30 crashed in 1999 during le Bourget airshow, Paris, France

This Russian SU-30 MKI crashed in 1999 during le Bourget airshow (Paris, France). The plane did one too many revolutions, and didn’t have the altitude to get out of the manoeuvre. The plane scraped the ground at the bottom of a downward loop, and then attempted unsuccessfully to gain altitude before falling back down and bursting into flames. No one was hurt and the two pilots ejected safely.

Pilot's error of appreciation: his plane crashes on a house

During this airshow, one aircraft crashed following a pilot error, on a house. 11 people were killed.

F4 engine flame-out at Point Mugu Airshow

Point Mugu Airshow - April 20th, 2002 - This F4 crashed while performing a demonstration with two F18, two F14 and another F4, over 25000 spectators. After an engine flame-out, the aircraft becomes out of control and crashed. Both the pilot and radar intercept officer were killed (one of the two crew members ejected just before the crash, but he was too low and the parachute didn’t deploy).

Ramstein air show disaster - Three jets collided in mid-air and crashed in the crowd

Ramstein Airshow - Frecce Tricolori - In one of the world's worst airshow disasters on August 28, 1988, three jets from the Italian Air Force display team, Frecce Tricolori, collided in mid-air (two jets collided; one of these two jet collided another third one). It happened during an airshow at Ramstein Air Base near Ramstein, Germany. One jet crashed into the crowd, while the two other crashed around the runway. Sixty seven spectators (as well as all three pilots) were killed and hundreds injured in the resulting explosion.

Harrier suddenly descend: the pilot ejects

The Harrier crashed during a demonstration at Lowestoft Seafront Air Festival. The aircraft suddenly started to descend and began to move forward. 4 or 5 seconds later, it crashed into the see. The pilot ejected successfully 20 meters above sea level. The accident was caused by the failure to select the nozzle control lever to the "Hover stop" following an inadvertent nozzle lever movement.
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