Duxford Flying Legends 9-10 July 2011 - P-51 crash following mid air Skyraider collision

Mid-air between the Skyraider and the P-51 'Big Beautiful Doll' during the mass fly-by and break at the end of the show. No casualties aside from the aircraft. The P-51 crashed (pilot Rob Davies parachuted clear) and the Skyraider landed safely minus a chunk of the starboard wing. View a video clip of the incident at the following link. The report below is from the Cambridge News.

Thanks to all the photographers..the pic of Rob baling out from BBD was seen on the sukhoi.ru forum but looks similar to an image from the sequence taken by gundylunch and posted on britmodeller.com. No doubt plenty of lenses were trained on that. The britmodeller sequence is by far the best of the incident.

Interviewed on the BBC's South East Today P-51 pilot Rob Davies said;

" ..it was an extremely loud impact which I heard even above the noise of the engine and the head-set.....the aircraft was violently thrown onto its side. At this point professionalism kicks in....even when its to save your life in this instance...normally if there's a problem you wouldn't bail out below 1,000 feet.."

..and the best video footage of the incident courtesy of David Taylor. A single click to view

From the Cambridge News

Duxford Imperial War Museum was hosting its annual and hugely popular Flying Legends event yesterday (Sunday) when the mid-air collision happened.It is thought the crash involved two planes, one being a P-51 Mustang and the other a Skyraider.The pilot of the P-51 parachuted to safety and the pilot of the other plane was uninjured, managing to land his heavily damaged plane.

David Quinton, from Woodhurst, who shot the collision footage (stills above), said he was watching the display from a field in Thriplow and recording the planes with an HD camcorder.
"We didn't realise what had happened at first," he said. "We were just hoping everyone was ok. Because it was so low we didn't know if the parachute would open."
Mark Brown, 38, said: “As soon as I saw the two aircraft they were getting closer and closer together. The whole point of when they peel off one after the other, they aim to put a separation, a few hundred yards between them, they got that wrong, they came very close together. When the collision occurred, you know when you talk about things in slow motion, I thought that’s not right, they are far too close, they should not be doing that. As soon as I saw part of the wing tip coming off, I knew right from that instant there was going to be a serious problem.”

Another eyewitness said: “The P-51 is the aircraft that has crashed with the pilot managing to leave the aircraft and parachute to safety with the plane coming down on the perimeter of the airfield out of sight of the crowd. The Skyraider managed to make an emergency landing with a large portion of the starboard wing missing. An announcement later from the tannoy informed everyone that the pilot of the crashed plane had landed safely and walked to the ambulance.”