Pilot Killed In Arizona P-51 Mustang Crash

posted in: Warbirds | 7

P-51 Mustang "Big Beautiful Doll"

The pilot of a WWII-era P-51 Mustang was killed today when the aircraft crashed in Maricopa, AZ today. There is no information available on what caused the crash, but photos from the scene show the aircraft totally destroyed. Reports say the aircraft burned after impacting the ground.

The pilot’s name is being withheld until next of kin can be notified. Inspection of crash site photos seems to indicate that the aircraft is one named “Big Beautiful Doll”, which is registered in Chandler, AZ as N551JP. This is the second incident involving a P-51 this week.

A separate P-51, also painted as “Big Beautiful Doll”, crashed at a UK airshow in 2011. That pilot was able to parachute to safety.

Our thoughts are with the family and friends of the pilot.

7 Responses

  1. Steven Brewer

    Very sad of this Pilot being killed and the other person.. Should it be known that flying these WW2 planes that everyone be wearing a parachute..

    • Logan

      Generally speaking, parachutes are unreliable at best below 1000 feet. This incident likely occurred lower than that if it was at an airshow. However, it also takes time to release the canopy and harnesses and get out, it is possible he could not do it before he closed the distance to the ground.

      Tragic, either way.

    • Hal Ross

      The plane crashed straight in. This was a sudden and disasterous failure. Either the elevator cables failed or the pilot was unconsious. A parachute is immaterial.

  2. Bob Bono

    The Capt was a very good pilot. He was a retired 747 Capt at Flying Tigers/Fedex. A regular guy that would spend time to talk to the Operations and Maintenace people. Had met him on several occasion. May they both rest in peace,

    • Todd

      Thats not true. He was the former presiden of Sikorsky. He was a retired Army helicopter pilot whos service included time in the reserves and National Guard.

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