Video Shows Spitfire Crashing While Taking Off During Airshow In Northeastern France

Spitfire Ground Rolls on Takeoff.

Spitfire XIX PS890 was involved in a serious accident at the L’aérodrome de Longuyon – Villette in northeastern France on Sunday, June 11. According to reports from witnesses on the scene, pilot Cédric Ruet escaped the frightening accident without serious injuries. Additional reports suggest flying debris from the accident may have injured one member of the crowd.

In videos taken at the crash scene the pilot, Ruet, appears to be approaching V2 take-off velocity when the Spitfire pitches into a nose-down attitude, its propeller impacted the ground the aircraft performing an end-over. While no official news has been released about the factors contributing to the accident the grass field surface and potentially an irregularity in the field may have contributed to accident.

According to Touchdown Aviation, Spitfire XIX PS890 was delivered to RAF Benson in 1945. The aircraft then went to the Royal Thai Air Force as aircraft number U14-26/97 and flew there until 1952 for Thailand. In 1962 the aircraft was donated to Ed Maloney by the King of Siam (Thailand) and transported to Claremont, California in the U.S. Private owner Steve Hilton acquired PS890 and restored her to flying condition then.

Remarkably, the aircraft was retrofitted with an Avro Shackleton engine including its contra-rotating propellers in an attempt to beat the piston engine time-to-climb record. The aircraft flew again in 2002 as part of the California-based Planes of Fame collection.

Christophe Jacquard of France purchased the aircraft in 2005 and restored its engine and propeller to the original configuration. She was most recently painted in the RAF 152 Squadron livery as flown in Thailand prior to yesteday’s accident.

 

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About Tom Demerly 328 Articles
Tom Demerly is a feature writer, journalist, photographer and editorialist who has written articles that are published around the world on TheAviationist.com, TACAIRNET.com, Outside magazine, Business Insider, We Are The Mighty, The Dearborn Press & Guide, National Interest, Russia’s government media outlet Sputnik, and many other publications. Demerly studied journalism at Henry Ford College in Dearborn, Michigan. Tom Demerly served in an intelligence gathering unit as a member of the U.S. Army and Michigan National Guard. His military experience includes being Honor Graduate from the U.S. Army Infantry School at Ft. Benning, Georgia (Cycle C-6-1) and as a Scout Observer in a reconnaissance unit, Company “F”, 425th INF (RANGER/AIRBORNE), Long Range Surveillance Unit (LRSU). Demerly is an experienced parachutist, holds advanced SCUBA certifications, has climbed the highest mountains on three continents and visited all seven continents and has flown several types of light aircraft.