Losses and Aviation Safety

Pilot Dead After OV-1 Mohawk Crash at Stuart Air Show

The FAA said the OV-1 Mohawk, with only the pilot aboard, crashed on the approach end of Runway 1 at Witham Field around 1:15 p.m.

One person died when a a Grumman OV-1 Mohawk crashed at the Stuart Air Show on Nov. 1, 2019.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) said they’re investigating the crash of the aircraft.

The FAA said the Mohawk, with only the pilot aboard, crashed on the approach end of Runway 1 at Witham Field around 1:15 p.m.

It’s unclear what caused the plane to go down.

A photo posted to social media by MCSO shows the aircraft on the grass at Witham Field with its wings smashed and metal debris scattered around it.

A separate photo from the area shows a cloud of thick, black smoke rising into the sky.

“I saw a gray bomber fly down, and literally within seconds, it just kind of caught my breath because he flew so far down that I thought, there is no way they could have pulled up,” said Natalie Evans, a witness, to WPTV. “It just kind of shocked me, stunned me. I didn’t hear a crash and I waited just a little bit and I saw smoke. That part was very upsetting.”

The Stuart Air Show tweeted on Friday they’ve “had an incident involving one of our aircraft. All local and federal agencies are on site and investigating so that we may ensure the safety of our airshow before we continue.”

We’ve had an incident involving one of our aircraft. All local and federal agencies are on site and investigating so that we may ensure the safety of our airshow before we continue.

The NTSB said it’s sending an investigator from Miami to Stuart.

The Grumman OV-1 Mohawk is a two-seat, twin-engine turboprop armed military observation and attack aircraft, designed for battlefield surveillance and light strike capabilities. It was intended to operate from short, unimproved runways in support of United States Army maneuver forces. It was the last fixed-wing aircraft to be designed specifically for the US Army.

The Mohawk’s first flight was in 1957 and operational units arrived with the Army starting in 1959. Mohawks served in the US Army from Vietnam through during Operation Desert Storm, with the last OV-1Ds being retired from service in 1996. Starting in 1972, the Army National Guard began to receive the Mohawk, eventually operating 13 OV-1Bs, 24 OV-1Cs, and 16 OV-1Ds serving with three aviation units in Georgia and Oregon, the last OV-1D being retired from the Georgia ANG in late 1996.

Argentine Army Aviation received twenty-three OV-1s in the 1990s. Ten were operational and the rest were used for spare parts. The final Argentine Mohawk was retired from use in 2015.

Photo by: Martin Co. S.O via WPTV and Atsushi Tsubota via Wikipedia

Dario Leone

Dario Leone is an aviation, defense and military writer. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviation Geek Club” one of the world’s most read military aviation blogs. His writing has appeared in The National Interest and other news media. He has reported from Europe and flown Super Puma and Cougar helicopters with the Swiss Air Force.

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