Pilot Bill Gordon, former member of the Iron Eagles Aerobatic Team, has died after the WWII-era P-47 Thunderbolt he was piloting crash landed in the Hudson River near New York City. The aircraft was one of three participating in a photo flight near the city and Statue of Liberty on Friday evening to promote this weekend’s airshow at nearby Jones Beach. It came down just a couple of miles from the George Washington bridge after suspected mechanical trouble. The aircraft, “Jacky’s Revenge”, is owned by the American Airpower Museum on Long Island not far outside the city. The airshow will continue as planned this weekend.
Adding to the tragedy were initial reports that the pilot was recovered safely and taken to the hospital. These reports were later corrected to state that the pilot was unaccounted for. His body was found in the wreckage by divers later that night. There is no word yet on what will happen to the aircraft, but the NTSB will be investigating the crash.
Our thoughts are with Bill’s family and friends.