Remember the U.S. Air Force Thunderbird Crash at Cheyenne Frontier Days July 25, 1977?
Do you remember when a Thunderbird pilot was killed at Cheyenne Frontier Days?
It was a rainy morning on July 25, 1977 when a member of the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds' support team was killed after his plane crashed at Frontier Park.
This week there were two crashes involving aerial demonstration team jets, a U.S. Navy Blue Angels' pilot was killed in an accident in Tennessee and a U.S. Air Force Thunderbird pilot safely ejected before his plane crashed at an airshow in Colorado Springs. Those brought back memories of the Thunderbird crash in Cheyenne during the summer of 1977.
The narrator for the Thunderbird's show was arriving early Monday morning to set up for Wednesday's scheduled performance. According to an article in the Greeley Daily Tribune, Captain Charlie Carter from San Antonio, Texas was killed after he ejected too late and hit a concession stand. Officials say the pilot of the T-38 Talon training jet had scratched a landing at Cheyenne Regional Airport and was attempting to gain altitude when the plane crashed through a campground at Frontier Park and ended up in the bull pens. Two bulls were killed and many campers were narrowly missed.
Also in the plane, Staff Sargent Ted Foster of Charlotte, North Carolina, ejected into the rodeo arena and sustained minor injuries. A member of the Cheyenne Central Marching Band, drummer Ronnie Clifton who was 16 at the time, suffered a broken arm when he was hit by flying debris while cleaning up stalls. Clifton was hospitalized.
The Thunderbirds performance was cancelled due to the mishap. This was the 10th fatal crash in the history of the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds aerial demonstration team which has been performing since 1953. No word yet on whether this week's crashes will affect their performance schedule.