C-47 Vintage Plane Crashes on way to Oshkosh Airshow
A C-47 vintage plane called the “Bluebonnet Belle,” crashed during take off, according to the Commemorative Air Force. The Commemorative Air Force own the plane, which was heading to Oshkosh Wisconsin for an airshow. Thirteen people survived a plane crash at the Burnet Municipal Airport on Saturday morning, 21 July, 2018. The Burnet County Sheriff’s Office said they received a call about the crash around 9:00 a.m.
All 13 people on board were able to exit the aircraft, according to the Burnet County Sheriff’s Office. One person was airlifted by helicopter to with significant burn injuries to the San Antonio burn unit, according to a spokesperson with the Commemorative Air Force. The aircraft caught on fire and ignited nearby grass. Firefighters were able to extinguish the fire.
The National Transportation Safety Board and Federal Aviation Administration will investigate the accident.
Dave Hargett, a member of the Highland Lakes Squadron, said the Belle was on its way back to 2018 EEA AirVenture Oshkosh air show, the same show where the Belle had engine trouble in 2015.
Three years ago, the Belle had performed several air jumps in Wisconsin and was going to make a low pass over the airfield when a noise coming from the right engine forced the pilot to land the plane at Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh.
The plane had a crack on the exhaust side of an engine cylinder as well as burn marks and a hole in the baffle and metal particles in the oil, which grounded the Belle in Wisconsin until a new engine could be installed and the plane was returned to Burnet in May 2016.
This is the third aircraft the Highland Lakes Squadron has lost or had grounded due to engine trouble in the past year. A T-6 SNJ Texan advanced trainer is currently grounded after losing an engine during a trip to a Mississippi air show, while the squadron’s L-17 Navion reconnaissance airplane is also grounded due to engine trouble, leaving the PT-19 Cornell as the squadron’s only operable plane at this time.
The Bluebonnet Belle has long been the featured aircraft at the annual Airshow, held the second weekend of September at the Burnet Municipal Airport by the Highland Lakes Squadron. Officials said the show is expected to continue without the famed aircraft.
“It’s a huge loss for the city and for the Commemorative Air Force,” Burnet Mayor Christa Bromley said Saturday. “It was the star attraction for our local airport. We have the SNJ as well, but the Belle was a tremendous asset for the CAF.”