October 18, Houston, Texas / General Motors Wildcat


At about 1817 central time, a WWII vintage General Motors FM-2 Wildcat warbird airplane was destroyed following an in-flight loss of control near Ellington Field while participating in the Wings Over Houston air show. The pilot was killed. Witnesses observed the accident airplane at approximately 200 feet agl, trailing a twin-engine bomber on approach to the airport. The Wildcat had executed a series of 360-degree steep turns for spacing. During its last turn the aircraft pitched up, then descended in a partial spin before colliding with the ground about a quarter-mile from the approach end of the runway. A witness reported that the propeller was turning and the engine did not appear to have any problems. FAA inspectors found the throttle in the full open position and the mixture set at idle cut-off.


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