No Fatalities Reported Following Vintage C-47 Crash in Texas

Classic transport aircraft Bluebonnet Belle damaged beyond repair.

bluebonnet belle
Bluebonnet Belle during happier times for the airplane.CAF Highland Lakes Squadron

Thirteen people survived the crash of a vintage C-47 military transport plane on Saturday at Burnet Airport, 20 miles northwest of Austin, Texas. The aircraft, the Bluebonnet Belle owned by the Commemorative Air Force, was departing for AirVenture 2018 in Oshkosh when the accident occurred during takeoff. The aircraft banked right on takeoff, before turning back left when the wing tip caught the ground. The aircraft was later destroyed by a post-crash fire.

Seven of the occupants escaped with non life-threatening injuries, while one was severely burned, according to AVweb. The C-47 was owned by the Commemorative Air Force. Chris Dowell, a staff member of the Commemorative Air Force spoke to KXAN, a CNN affiliate, about the accident. "We are very fortunate that everybody that was on board the aircraft got out of the aircraft safely, with a few minor injuries," Dowell told KXAN.

According to a CAF press release, Bluebonnet Belle was built in 1944 and flew more than 75 missions during World War II carrying cargo, passengers and evacuating casualties. In 2017, Bluebonnet Belle was used to transport food and supplies to Southeast Texas to aid people affected by Hurricane Harvey.

“We are thankful the aircrew was able to exit the aircraft. Our hearts go out to them and their families as they recover,” said Bob Stevnik, the president of CAF. “Unfortunately, the historic aircraft will not be able to be restored. Our volunteer members work very hard to keep these aircraft flying and it is a loss for the entire organization.”