Every year since 1987 Davenport Municipal Airport puts on the Quad City Airshow which bring people from all around the mid-west. In 2010 the reported attendance to the air show was around 100,000 people packed in the airport to see deft and dangerous maneuvers put on by professional pilots. The 2012 Quad City Airshow this year was put in September 1st, 2012 through September 2nd, 2012. This year was mired in a dramatic air show crash killing a pilot.
At first authorities were not releasing the name of the pilot involved in the air show disaster but his name has seen been revealed. It was reported by WFAA in Dallas / Forth Worth that the name of the pilot in the airshow crash was Glenn Smith of Dallas, Texas.
Glenn Smith was 59 years old and worked for a professional air show team called the Hoppers Jet Team. Their website is HopperFlight.com and features their complicated flight patterns and performances that they put in flying L-39 Albatros jets throughout air shows across the country. In addition to the L-39 Soviet-era military jets they also fly MiG-17 Fresco jets, F-86 Sabre and A-4 Skyhawk planes.
Glenn’s nickname at The Hoppers Jet Team was “Skids.” The bio under the team description for Glenn Smith describes his background and what he specialized in:
“”Skids” is a technology entrepreneur who founded a company in 1981 that provides IT services to local governments. Away from his computer, Skids started flying 24 years ago and now holds holds a commercial pilot’s license with instrument rating. With over 2000 hours flying including 600 hours in jets, he is currently flying his PT-17 Stearman, T-37 Tweet ( one of two currently flying), MiG-17, L-39, and Super Cub. Skids is the newest member of the Hoppers and is currently working on his Lead qualifications.
“The Hoppers quickly became close and trusted friends. They are a special group of aviators dedicated to aviation safety and proficiency; and we use the excitement of aviation as a message to motivate kids to succeed.”
In addition to his passion for flying, Glenn is a certified scuba diver, licensed sailor, snow ski enthusiast, and struggling golfer.”
The Quad City Airshow crash was reported to have happened when Mr. Smith could not pull out of a 45 degree bank and crashed into a field north of Interstate 80. The NTSB (National Transportation Safety Board) is investigating the crash and will provide an in depth analysis on the crash within a couple weeks and a full report in a few months.
There was no immediate information or alert from Glenn when he was flying that he was having trouble when in formation. Sometimes right before Air show crashes there are mayday alerts or notifications from pilots that they are experiencing troubles and malfunctions in the mechanics of their plane or jet.
The Iowa Air Show Crash video shows the jet veering off to the right from the rest of the planes and exploding into a ball of flames after it hit the ground. Glenn Smith was expected to have passed immediately on impact. The amateur video of the crash was shared on YouTube and had approached nearly 100,000 views in only hours. The video actually created a lot of controversy as people argued about whether women heard on the video were being overly dramatic. Many people found decency to realize that an accomplished pilot lost his life and people are mourning the loss.
Some popular comments on the video were:
“For all of you people who continue to call this lady annoying and dramatic, please take a look at the video a second time. Someone died. Plain and simple. For all you idiots know, it could have been a family member or a family friend who was crying and screaming.
I didn’t know that you had to be quit and sit on your thumbs. God forbid if we cry when someone dies, you’d be labeled as annoying. Jesus ####### christ people are so self centered these days.”
“I am not downplaying the tragedy or disrespecting the dead here, but yeah… the phony crying and caterwauling of one or two of the spectators here is pretty ridiculous. You have one or two women with the “OOHH GAAWWDD” histrionics, and another woman sitting nearby saying, “did you get that on camera”? You can tell they’re already rehearsing in their minds what they are going to say when interviewed for some cable TV “shocking video” reality show.”
“The question is, why did he not eject? Did he blackout? What was is physical condition? What was his experience? Maybe he thought he could pull out of it? Was it his plane that he was flying? All questions that will be explored in the crash investigation which I will definitely read when it comes out. He died doing what he loved no doubt, which is not a bad way to go. Prayers for he and his family are in order.”
The raw air show crash video is below.
WARNING GRAPHIC FOOTAGE
L-39 crash at quad city airshow Davenport Iowa
9/2/2012 Iowa Air Show Crash Kills Pilot
Davenport, Iowa Air Show Crash Caught on Tape
Quad City Airshow Crash footage,Video of Pilot killed in Iowa air show crash, A plane that was part of an air show in eastern Iowa has crashed, and authorities say the pilot was killed. Authorities say the jet was flying in formation with other jets when it failed to pull out of a 45-degree bank and crashed into a field north of Interstate 80 around 1:25 p.m. Saturday.
Nobody on the ground was hurt, but crowds watching the show saw the plane go down and erupt in flames.
Davenport police and federal investigators planned to comb the field Saturday for widely-scattered wreckage from the plane.
Assistant Davenport Police Chief Don Schaeffer did not identify the pilot, but said he was not from Davenport.