June 6, 2009, Rochester, N.Y., de Havilland Vampire MK-3


The jet-powered warbird was substantially damaged at 1525 Eastern time during a forced landing following a loss of power after departure. The airline transport pilot was seriously injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

The accident aircraft departed in formation with another airplane. As it climbed through 3500 feet, the pilot heard a noise coming from the engine and initiated a return. The noise “got louder,” and the pilot felt the airplane vibrate during the return. While on final approach, the engine lost all power. The pilot then retracted the landing gear, and prepared for a forced landing to the grass adjacent to the runway. During the landing, the airplane struck a berm, substantially damaging the fuselage. An examination of the engine was scheduled for a later date.


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