An air show director was killed when his stunt plane failed to come out of an intentional stall and crashed nose-first in front of an estimated 75,000 people.
"When it hit, it just exploded," said Kevin Ellis, a spectator Sunday at Will Rogers World Airport. "No matter how fast the trucks got there, he was dead. It was just a ball of fire."Killed was Tom Jones, 46, a former national champion aerobatic pilot and director of the Aerospace America '90 show.
The Soviet-made Sukhoi-26M stunt plane never regained power after Jones performed a straight-up stall called a tail slide.
The announcer said, "OK, Tom, OK, looking good - you can pull up," just before the plane hit the ground in a grassy area 100 yards from the crowd.
Many in the crowd captured the crash on home video cameras.
All civilian performances at the air show were immediately canceled. Military jets, bombers and helicopters performed fly-bys in a tribute to Jones about two hours later. Jets flew the missing-man formation.