HILLSBORO, Ore. – A 1951 British fighter jet crashed into a densely populated neighborhood near the Hillsboro Airport during an air show Sunday afternoon, killing the pilot and destroying a house
No residents or others on the ground were hurt, said Connie King, a spokeswoman for the Hillsboro Fire Department. The pilot’s name was not immediately released. King said the jet was taking off to return to Southern California when it slammed into a house at 4:28 p.m.
The homeowner, Donna Reynolds, was not home at the time, said Ed Kerbs, a neighbor and board member of the homeowners association.
People were home at another house that sustained significant damage, but they escaped without injury, King said.
A 33-year-old Hillsboro firefighter was treated for heat exhaustion and released from Providence St. Vincent’s Medical Center.
“As it came in, it pitched up its nose and it looked like he was trying to stay afloat,” said Kerbs, who was hosting an air show party on his lawn. “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.”
The crash occurred toward the end of the two-day Oregon International Air Show, where the plane had been on display, but not performing, said Steve Callaway, an air show board member.
The Federal Aviation Administration said 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.