WWII Plane Crash In Texas Claims 2 Lives

    October 23, 2013

A plane crash happened on Wednesday around 11:40 a.m. in Galveston, Texas, claiming the lives of two passengers, and destroying a relic P-51 Mustang airplane from the World War II era in the process. Photos of the actual plane, which was called the “Galveston Gal”, and the wreckage have not been released due to the sensitive nature of the tragic event.

According to Petty Officer Steve Lehmann, there was a charter boat nearby where the captain alerted authorities to the crash. Unsure of the exact location at the time, the captain pointed officials to the vicinity of Chocolate Bay and Galveston Bay, where the bodies of the passengers were recovered. Reports claim that the plane crashed into an area of water that was four feet deep.

Lynn Lunsford of the Federal Aviation Administration said that the plane was under the ownership of the Lone Star Flight Museum out of Galveston; however, the pilot was not communicating with air-traffic controllers at the time of the accident.

A nearby boater, Jennifer Spaulding, spoke with KHOU.com about the sound of the crash.

“We saw the water spraying up in the air, but we never saw what it was. We never saw a plane go down or anything, so we didn’t think anything like a plane. We just figured it was a boat,” Jennifer Spaulding said.

No known cause has been found. State officials released the names of the pilot (51-year-old Keith Hibbett of Denton) and the passenger (66-year-old John Stephen Busby), but have not explained the circumstances surrounding this tragedy. Reports claim that the passenger – along with his wife – was believed to have been visiting Texas from the United Kingdom as part of their 41st wedding anniversary. The ride in the ill-fated plane had cost him roughly $2,000.

[Images Via Wikimedia Commons And Courtesy of USAAF, Jwnabd, and AFHRA]