Plane Crashes Into Oregon Neighborhood
Pilot Dies; One Home Destroyed, Another Damaged
HILLSBORO, Ore. (June 17) - A vintage British fighter jet crashed into a densely populated neighborhood near an airport during an air show Sunday afternoon, exploding, destroying a home and killing the pilot.
Firefighters pour water over the wreckage of a plane which crashed Sunday into a densely populated neighborhood in Hillsboro, Ore.
Fire officials said no residents or others on the ground were hurt.
The 1951 jet was taking off from the Hillsboro Airport to return to California when it went down, said Connie King, a spokeswoman for the Hillsboro Fire Department.
The jet slammed into a house at 4:28 p.m. and destroyed it, she said. No one was home at the time, she said. The pilot's name was not immediately released.
Another house with people inside sustained "significant damage," but no one was hurt, King said. The attic exterior of a third house was damaged, and there was fire damage in the yard of another, she said.
A firefighter was treated at a local hospital for heat exhaustion and released.
Ed Kerbs, a neighborhood resident, was hosting an air show party on his lawn when the plane went down.
"As it came in, it pitched up its nose and it looked like he was trying to stay afloat," Kerbs said. "I was talking to a buddy of mine and I said 'Hey, he's flying way too low; he's not going to make it.' And then there was a plume of smoke and a bang."
Diana Halvorson, who lives on the street where the plane crashed, said she and her family ran to a neighbor's house when they saw flames.
"It was a noise, a huge, huge, noise," she said. The flames "shot up like a bolt of lightning."
The plane crashed toward the end of the two-day Hillsboro International Air Show, where the plane had been on display, but did not perform, said Steve Callaway, an air show board member.
The Federal Aviation Administration provided a tail number that indicated the plane was registered to Robert Guilford, 73, an aviation attorney from Southern California.
According to information on his law firm's Web site, Guilford has been flying planes since 1961. But authorities would not say if he was piloting the plane Sunday. His law firm, Baum Hedlund, did not return a page Sunday.
Air show organizers canceled the show immediately after the crash. It was the first crash in the show's 19-year history.
plane crashes into oregon neighborhood
Published: July 17, 2006, 4:14 pm