Surveillance video of Dale “Snort” Snodgrass’ fatal accident (warning, graphic content that might be upsetting to some) has been released and it shows the takeoff sequence that ends in seconds with the crash. The video, which includes radio exchanges with the tower, shows Snodgrass lining up normally for takeoff from Lewiston Airport in Idaho on July 24, but the takeoff quickly goes wrong.
On the takeoff roll, the aircraft remains in the three-point configuration, which is sometimes used for short and unimproved runways, but Snodgrass had thousands of feet of concrete in front of him and actually took off from midfield. After the aircraft leaves the runway, it pitches up almost to the vertical and rolls left before diving into the infield. It’s quickly consumed by a post-crash fire as the controller calmly directs first responders to the scene. Snodgrass was a decorated naval aviator and flew many different warbirds at airshows across the country.