2nd UPDATE: Tuskegee Red Tail Belly Landing in Dallas!
The CAF Red Tail's P-51C pilot Bill Shepard releases statement on the wheels-up landing in Dallas:
*Letter from the Red Tail Squadron Leader Bill Shepard
Greetings! As you may have already heard, our P-51C Mustang Tuskegee Airmen suffered an un - fortunate incident on Wednesday, February 3 . Because of a gear up landing the aircraft is currently grounded. I was the pilot on that flight, and I take full responsibility for what was simply a case of pilot error. Rest assured that our Mustang did not have any sort of critical engine issue, and the damage it has sustained is completely repairable. I am extremely remorseful, and as the Squadron Leader I pledge that I will be at the forefront of ensuring the plane returns to service as quickly as possible.
An action plan has been created, which is already in motion, and there are no foresee - able roadblocks to a successful outcome. As of publication of this article, the aircraft is up on its wheels in the hangar being prepared for transport at the end of the week to Air Corps Aviation, the WWII aircraft specialists who led the two restorations of our P- 51C. Their team is standing by and will begin the repair process as soon as the aircraft arrives. We will keep you updated with progress reports in our newsletter, blog and on Facebook.
The CAF Red Tail Squadron logistics team is hard at work ensuring that we meet our obligations for the 2016 season of RISE ABOVE Red Tail. Other CAF units and Mustang operators have stepped up to make their aircraft available for our events if needed. Our team will meet and exceed expectations for our outreach events. We have a full schedule and have a plan in place to ensure that we continue to reach record num - bers of people of all ages with the inspirational history and legacy of the Tuskegee Airmen.
We will RISE ABOVE! Even with last week’s setback, we have had a successful several weeks in Dallas at the new CAF headquarters, reaching out to the Dallas community and making new friends. Original Tuskegee Airmen Charles McGee delighted students from all over the city as they came to our RISE ABOVE Traveling Exhibit to learn direct from the source! This special guest truly left a lasting impression. Read this month’s newsletter for more details and to get a glimpse at where else you can find us in the coming months.*
The CAF's P-51 C "Tuskegee Airmen" forced to make a belly landing at Dallas Executive Airport! Details are sketchy, but pilot is alright. Still developing!
The pilot of a World War II-era P-51C Mustang is OK after making an emergency belly landing at Dallas Executive Airport Wednesday morning.
Dallas-Fire Rescue confirms the plane landed at about 10:30 a.m. with its gears retracted. The fighter plane's prop detached as it left the runway and came to rest in a grassy area off a taxiway.
The plane is a single-seat aircraft with room only for a pilot. No injuries were reported, though the vintage aircraft suffered extensive damage, officials said.