Reporting Bud Gillett
NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Two people died Thursday when a jet fighter crashed near Scurry in Kaufman County. The aircraft was a vintage Aero L-29 Delfin jet made during the Cold War in – what was then – Czechoslovakia. The craft was hangared at the Lancaster Airport and likely belonging to the Cold War Air Museum.
“I’m sure we probably do know that person, it’s kind of saddening,” Former Dallas County Constable R. l. Skinner told CBS 11 News. He fears victims are friends from the Cold War Air Museum.
The Delfin jet fighter crashed near highway 34 between Ennis and Kaufman. Charred wreckage was scattered over a large area.
It was a clear day, and the pilot did not file a flight plan, which is not unusual in good weather according to the FAA.
The victims have not been formally identified yet.
“It’s very sad, it’s very sad,” Skinner said. “Aviation is a risk everybody takes. Even when you get on an airliner, you don’t know if you’re going to get back.” Still Skinner calls piloting vintage aircraft an acceptable risk. He flies and has imported these aircraft himself, though he has not piloted the Delfin that crashed Thursday.
He calls it a very forgiving aircraft despite their Cold War heritage. “They were manufactured for the Russian Air Force and they made about 3,600 of them and it’s a late ’60s early ’70s vintage aircraft, and there are probably maybe eight of those aircraft here on the field. It has a very good safety record.”
Investigators on the scene said the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has been notified and will be in charge of investigating the cause of the accident.
(©2012 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)
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