...CAF Mustang Pilot Dies Of Injuries

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During an air show on Saturday, pilot Don Hinz was performing a fly-by in a Commemorative Air Force (CAF) P-51C Mustang when he reported a problem. Unable to return to the field, Hinz managed to avoid nearby houses and power lines, but the aircraft hit the ground hard, and both wings were torn off. Hinz died Sunday of his injuries. The accident took place during the Wings of Freedom Airshow at the Red Wing Regional Airport in Minnesota. Hinz, 60, of Woodbury, Minn., had played a major role in the fundraising, educational, restoration and outreach programs of the P-51C Mustang, and had worked to bring the aircraft and the message of the Tuskegee Airmen to the public, the CAF said in a news release. The P-51C Mustang was based out of Fleming Field in South Saint Paul, Minn., and operated by the Minnesota Wing of the CAF. Hinz was a retired Naval aviator and a former airline pilot for Braniff and Sun Country Airlines. He leaves a wife and four sons. The CAF, based in Midland, Texas, operates a fleet of over 150 World War II aircraft, and has two other P-51 Mustangs in its collection. On Tuesday, CAF spokeswoman Tina Corbett told AVweb it was not clear if the aircraft could be repaired.