Have you ever witnessed a aircraft accident?


New Member
Hello Everyone,

Just curious if anyone else has witnessed an aircraft accident in person. While I was stationed in SoCal, I pulled static display duty one weekend and witnessed this:

MCAS El Toro - SNJ Stall/Spin


While on my long student cross country several years ago, I saw an accident on roll out. An RV3 had one of its brakes seize. As it swerved off the runway, it went airborne again as it hit a burm. It then nosed over fairly hard. I was the first to run over and check on the guy. Good news was that no damage was done to him other than his ego. Plane took a good beating though. It really made me think as I was streaking across the Texas sky in by C152.
I, and half of the school, saw a Seminole land gear up in PRC (The famous "Ted Sled"), I had a Cessna 340 crash behind me during an ice storm from fuel starvation, a C-172 ground loop and roll over.
Saw a Seminole land gear up at DAB. Also saw a Bell (206 I think) crash during autorotation (I guess) at DAB...that one was bad. Also saw an experimental biplane ground loop and roll over. The pilot wasnt hurt until he unbuckled his harness and fell out onto his head- then they had to rush him to the hospital. Other than that, nothing too serious. And thankfully, I've never seen one from the first person point of view.
Conquest with failed nose gear, Seminole with failed right main, and an R22 helicopter crashed just 200 feet from me on the ramp during a mechanic's runup when the collective came up on him. That one was totaled. He jumped out about three feet off the ground.
Hello Everyone,

Thanks for your input. Seems as though you've jostled a few memory cells in my old noggin. I once saw a US Navy LC-130 (has skis which it uses to land in Antartica). It was making a very early morning landing at NAS Barbers Pt. and couldn't raise the skis. It made one very short landing and was the Mother of all Sparklers! Everyone got out fine and thankfully no fire started.

Then there was the SeaBee that ran out of fuel and tried to make it to a golf course near my childhood home in Santa Barbara. I witnessed that one with my ears as it "landed" in someone's driveway a few hundred yards away from my house. My mother and I heard it and ran outside to see what made the noise. Bumps, bruises & lacerations in that one, but everyone walked away!


-Was standing with Doug on our apartment baclony watching the PA-44 Ted Sled land.

-Saw a Bonanza crash at Holbrook, AZ when it's prop separated on takeoff, the plane swerved off the runway, and flipped over.

-Saw a Marine Harrier lose it's engine on takeoff at Yuma, Az and the pilot punch out. Harrier went into a grapefruit field

-An A-10 land gear up after it's gun blew up while firing, blowing the nosegear from the plane as well as most of the underside.

-An F-4 crash onto the runway on takeoff from Holloman AFB

-A Dutch F-16 land in Afghanistan, lose it's brakes, drop it's tailhook (but no arrestor cable), pilot ejects, and the jet rolls off the departure end of the runway into the minefield.
Saw a C210 have a nose gear failure on landing at MQY...the FAA van was already at the airport and they were on him like a fly on s$#t. Poor guy didn't even have time to get out of the plane. Also saw a Bonanza land gear up b/c the pilot was too busy looking at the B-17 that landed in front of him at ROA...forgot to lower the gear. Thankfully I've never seen anyone injured. I pray I never do.
yep too many.

a cpl of gliders, a cpl of cessnas, my wife running off the runway (if that counts), a waco lost it's engine.. landed in the field the people on the ride were pissed. Is the ride over already? had some others who were in the same race as we were, missed clearing the top of a mountain by about 10 feet, pine trees don't bend that much. and another friend took an unlit radio tower at night, 12 inches inside of the wing strut, the c-206 landed 15 feet away from the base of the tower ( think about that, it fell strait down) and I have seen a few at the reno air races as well.

Including when Bob Hurricane Hanna's trim tab broke at 400mph, the P-51 pointed strait up, he passed out, almost didn't make it.
Saw a 737 engine fire on rollout one night at SFO. Flames shot from #1 all the way to the tail of the a/c for about 10 seconds before they shut it down. We were #1 for dep. behind them, and we were delayed about 1/2 hour as 30 or so emergency vehicles swarmed the field!
Two; both attempting a low-level loop (judging by the number of airshow accidents, this is not a high probability of success maneuver). Craig Hosking (the helicopter pilot in Mission Impossible 2), in the biplane he used to take off and land upside down (it had landing gear installed on the top). Didn't quite make it back to nose level on the back side of the loop; biffed it once, almost recovered, then cartwheeled into a fence. He made it out fine.

The second was Wayne Handley (whom I've met twice and is a very nice guy in addition to being one hell of a pilot) in the Oracle Turbo Raven at the '99 Salinas airshow; he was attempting to land out of a loop, the "landing" was very hard and he seriously messed up his back. I think that was the last airshow Wayne flew. The NTSB report.

I was also at the '81 Hill AFB airshow where Thunderbird 5 crashed following a high-speed stall (they were in T-38s then), though I didn't actually see it happen. He was out of the ejection envelope, rode it in.
I saw the F-117 Stealth Bomber go down a few years ago at an airshow. The pilot ejected safely, but there was one hell of a fireball.
On my first flying lesson an old byplane came down landing on the wrong side of the runway at an uncontrolled airport. He alomost collided with a cessna on final and hit the grass while spewing off a landing gear. Turns out he was having engine trouble but everyone was ok.
I saw the F-117 Stealth Bomber go down a few years ago at an airshow. The pilot ejected safely, but there was one hell of a fireball.

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That's interesting...

Don't those things run around 2 billion a piece? Do you know what caused it to go down?
saw an F-4 crash at the 2002 Pt. Mugu airshow. engine was on fire, must have lost flight controls also. both the pilot and guy in back ejected, but they were too low and the plane was almost inverted, so neither made it.