Loss of control Accident North American P-51D Mustang N4132A, (2024)

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Date:Saturday 17 November 2018
Type:Loss of control Accident North American P-51D Mustang N4132A, (1)
North American P-51D Mustang
Registration: N4132A
MSN: 122-40985
Year of manufacture:1944
Total airframe hrs:1812 hours
Engine model:Rolls Royce V-1650-7
Fatalities:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Location:ENE of Gillespie County Airport (T82), Fredericksburg, TX - Loss of control Accident North American P-51D Mustang N4132A, (2) United States of America
Phase: Manoeuvring (airshow, firefighting, ag.ops.)
Departure airport:Fredericksburg, TX (T82)
Destination airport:Fredericksburg, TX (T82)
Investigating agency:NTSB
Confidence Rating:Loss of control Accident North American P-51D Mustang N4132A, (3) Accident investigation report completed and information captured

The commercial pilot was participating in a World War II educational reenactment program with a passenger onboard. The purpose of the flight was to perform 4 to 5 passes in front of an amphitheater where the reenactment was being conducted. Witnesses at the amphitheater stated that the airplane performed a low pass before entering a climb. The airplane then entered a turn followed by a steep descent from which it did not recover before disappearing from view behind trees. Although the pilot held an authorization to fly the accident airplane at the time of the accident, he had a history of failed check rides, airspace violations, and enforcement actions. In each instance, the pilot's certificate was issued or reinstated upon reexamination.

The airplane impacted the ground in a near-vertical attitude. The propeller blades exhibited abrasions and leading-edge gouges consistent with the engine producing power at impact. All observed flight control separations exhibited features consistent with overload. No preimpact anomalies with the engine or airframe were found. Toxicology testing detected ethanol in specimens from the pilot consistent with postmortem production. Although the pilot had a history of coronary artery disease, there was no evidence that this condition contributed to the accident.

The accident pilot ran a charity that provided flights in his warbird airplane to veterans; he typically participated in the reenactment program with a veteran seated in the rear seat of his airplane. The director of the educational program stated that, in a pre-performance briefing on the day of the accident, the pilot was reminded of "all pertinent [Federal Aviation Administration] requirements," including that the fly-by be conducted no lower than 1,000 ft above ground level.

Given the available information, the pilot most likely performed a low-level maneuver with a passenger on board and was unable to recover from that maneuver before impacting terrain.

Probable Cause: The pilot's decision to perform a low-level maneuver at an altitude where he was unable to recover the airplane before impacting terrain.

Accident investigation:

Loss of control Accident North American P-51D Mustang N4132A, (4)

Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 1 year and 5 months
Download report: Loss of control Accident North American P-51D Mustang N4132A, (5) Final report



FAA register: https://registry.faa.gov/aircraftinquiry/NNum_Results.aspx?NNumbertxt=N4132A%20



NTSB investigating crash Saturday of a North American P-51D in Fredericksburg, TX.

— NTSB_Newsroom (@NTSB_Newsroom) 17 novembre 2018

The @NTSB is investigating a plane crash in #Fredericksburg, #Texas. The @PacWarMuseum was having their November WWII Pacific Combat Program show at the time of the plane crash. Two #veterans were onboard the vintage airplane. Photos: Glenn Kropat https://t.co/oCoFuGgINj pic.twitter.com/4J9FjrJnXl

— FOX 7 Austin (@fox7austin) 18 novembre 2018

We are saddened by the unfortunate accident that happened this afternoon that claimed the lives of two veterans. At this time we have no further information.

— Pacific War Museum (@PacWarMuseum) 18 novembre 2018

BREAKING: A Fredericksburg war museum hosting an event at the time of the crash says 2 veterans died in the plane crash. https://t.co/PErWP0OycN

— KSAT 12 (@ksatnews) November 18, 2018

A plane crashed inside an apartment complex parking lot in Fredericksburg at around 3 p.m. Two possible fatalities, and the site is still being investigated. More info. to follow. pic.twitter.com/5fgMB8ERPI

— Erika Vela (@evela_news) November 17, 2018

UPDATE: The @NTSB and FAA are heading to the scene of a vintage WWII fighter plane crash in Fredericksburg. Photos courtesy Glenn Kropat. https://t.co/0SbIlDEclq pic.twitter.com/Eyco5oQbAe

— CBS Austin (@cbsaustin) November 18, 2018

Revision history:

17-Nov-2018 23:29Iceman 29Added
17-Nov-2018 23:42Iceman 29Updated [Aircraft type, Embed code, Narrative]
17-Nov-2018 23:52Iceman 29Updated [Total occupants, Source]
18-Nov-2018 00:00GenoUpdated [Location, Source]
18-Nov-2018 00:15Iceman 29Updated [Narrative]
18-Nov-2018 00:29GenoUpdated [Registration, Cn, Operator, Source, Narrative]
18-Nov-2018 00:48Iceman 29Updated [Total fatalities, Embed code]
18-Nov-2018 01:09Iceman 29Updated [Source, Embed code, Narrative]
18-Nov-2018 12:13Iceman 29Updated [Registration, Other fatalities, Phase, Nature, Source, Embed code, Narrative]
18-Nov-2018 12:14Iceman 29Updated [Embed code, Narrative]
18-Nov-2018 15:24AerossuranceUpdated [Location, Narrative]
18-Nov-2018 15:27AerossuranceUpdated [Embed code]
18-Nov-2018 19:23txkflierUpdated [Embed code, Narrative]
18-Nov-2018 20:58A.ScholtenUpdated [Source]
18-Nov-2018 21:04Anon.Updated [Source]
19-Nov-2018 17:26NepaUpdated [Destination airport, Operator]
27-Nov-2018 19:49IsabellaBarbiero Updated [Departure airport, Destination airport]
22-Apr-2020 17:05ASN Update BotUpdated [Time, Operator, Nature, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Embed code, Narrative, Accident report, ]

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Loss of control Accident North American P-51D Mustang N4132A, (2024)
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