Pilot dies in the crash of a World War II plane at Czech airshow

The Hurricane Mk.IV from the Prague-Točna Aviation Museum was the last of its kind that was still capable of flying.

Expats.cz Staff

Written by Expats.cz Staff Published on 15.08.2022 10:16:00 (updated on 15.08.2022) Reading time: 3 minutes

A pilot died when his World War II–era plane fell on a house during the Aviation Day show in Cheb. A woman was treated by paramedics for a minor injury on the scene of the accident. The rescue service sent in three vehicles and a helicopter. The organizers ended the air show after the accident.

The plane crashed outside the Cheb Airport at 3:30 p.m., falling between houses and a street in Cheb's Podhrad neighborhood. The intervening firefighters said it partly fell on a detached house. The organizers ended the air show after the accident.

Most visitors left the airport area peacefully after the event. "People really coordinated to leave the venue. They got into cars or were taken away by buses," Jiří Poór, spokesman for Aviation Day, said.

The rescue service was still at the scene in the evening, and the road where the accident occurred was closed. "There is a helicopter there and there will also be an Air Force drone that helps us monitor and search the scene. A 3D scanner will also document the event location. We will cooperate with the Air Accidents Investigation Institute to investigate the cause of the accident," police spokeswoman Kateřina Pešková said.

The police have also asked anyone who witnessed or filmed the crash to contact them.

"This is a huge loss, we are so sorry. Lots of people have been expressing their sympathies on social networks, we are full of emotions," he said.

The pilot of the historic plane was Czech. His full name has not been released, but he has been identified by the first name Petr on social media. "It is a huge human loss, we are very sorry. Many people are expressing their condolences on social media, we are full of emotions. We are still finding out more information about the accident," Poór said.

The plane was a Hawker Hurricane Mk.IV. This type of plane was used by the British Royal Air Force (RAF) from 1937. From the beginning of World War II, Hurricanes served in 18 squadrons. It gained fame for its role in the Battle of Britain in 1940, but also served throughout the war.

The plane that crashed was the last the Mk.IV version that was capable of flying. It belonged to the Prague-Točna Aviation Museum. In total 14,583 Hurricane planes in all versions were made, and fewer than 15 are still capable of flying.

The plane and the aviation museum are owned by Ivo Lukačovič, the owner of the Seznam.cz server, who is a fan of flying and a licensed pilot. "The plane lived and made us so happy. Petr lived and everything was fine. Why is it just the nice guys who have to depart?" Lukačovič said on Twitter.

Accidents are not very frequent at air shows. In 2018, a historical plane replica fell during an aviation day at the Strunkovice nad Blanici airfield in South Bohemia, killing a 72-year-old pilot. In June 2016, an ultralight plane fell during an air show at the airport in Nymburk, Central Bohemia, the two-member crew died. One month later, a glider fell during a parade of historical gliders in Plasy, West Bohemia, and the pilot suffered a leg injury.

The aerobatics contest in Kroměříž in July 2014 was fatal for the pilot of a small plane that caught fire after a crash.

In June 2006, a replica of a Tiger Moth plane crashed at the European air show in Hradec Králové, but there were no injuries. There were no victims in the crash of an unmanned Sojka aircraft at the NATO Days show in Mosnov, north Moravia, in September 2005.

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