Airshow Crash In Spain Kills Pilot Ladislao Tejedor Romero In Jet Explosion [VIDEO]
A Madrid airshow crash on Sunday shocked 3,000 spectators as a vintage HA-200 Saeta jet aircraft plummeted from the sky. The pilot, 35-year-old Ladislao Tejedor Romero, suffered serious burns in the crash and later died in the hospital from his injuries.
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The Madrid airshow held at the Cuatro Vientos airfield celebrates Spanish aerial acrobatics and vintage aircrafts. The show attracts thousands of aviation fans.
According to eyewitnesses, Romero was performing highly technical maneuvers in the HA-200 Saeta jet plane when he engaged a nosedive demonstration. The jet failed to pull up in time and crashed into a hangar building, exploding in an enormous fireball.
Disintegrating upon impact, plane wreckage, including wing components, were littered around the airfield and the car park. Fortunately, no spectators were injured from falling debris. A 57-year-old man, believed to be Romero's father, suffered an anxiety attack and was taken to the hospital. A rescue worker suffered from burns while another suffered smoke inhalation. First aid was administered at the scene.
Highly trained and experienced, Ladislao Tejedor Romero was a talented pilot as well as an assistant to Defense Minister Pedro Morenes. According to the Defense Ministry spokesperson on Sunday, Romero eventually died in Madrid's Getafe Hospital from serious burns.
The HA-200 Saeta, also known as the "Arrow," was the first Spanish turbojet aircraft. The Saeta was designed by Willy Messerschmitt and was intended to be an advanced jet fighter by Hispano Aviacion, its original manufacturer.
The HA-200 Saeta boasts a low-winged monoplane all metal contruction. Two Turboméca Marboré engines mounted side-by-side in the forward fuselage provide enough thrust to propel the plane to 500 mph. The HA-200 Saeta first flew as a prototype in August 1955. The plane remained in service until 1981.
Defense ministry spokesperson Alfredo Florenza reported that the cause of the crash is unknown at this point. While video footage clearly shows the plane plummeting from the sky at a high rate of speed, it is difficult to determine whether Romero failed to pull the Saeta up or if a mechanical failure was responsible for Romero's death.
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