By Russ Niles, Editor-in-Chief
A member of the Red Thunder demonstration team died Saturday when his Yak-52 reportedly failed to pull out of a maneuver and crashed at the Wings Over Flagler airshow in Palm Coast, Fla. William E. "Wild Bill" Walker was in formation with members of the six-aircraft team when the accident occurred. "He was in a dive when he was supposed to pull, and he didn't pull out for some reason," Roy Sieger, director of the Flagler County Airport, told The Jacksonville News Journal "They did everything by the book, but unfortunately it's one of the drawbacks to this business." The Red Thunder team, made up of Yak-52s and the Chinese version, the Nanchang CJ6, were scheduled to appear at Sun 'n Fun this week. Meanwhile a less serious mishap at a Texas airshow involved the wife of the state's governor.
Anita Perry was uninjured, as were others on the B-25 when, according to the Austin American-Statesman, the nose gear collapsed and an engine caught fire while the aircraft was taxiing at Jardin Ranch, near Laredo. It's not clear from the report how or whether they were related, nor was there a damage report on the aircraft. The plane was taking part in an airshow in Encinal.