P-51 Mustang Crash Kills Two

Owner was receiving flight instruction at time of mishap.

P-51 Crash

P-51 Crash

** Photo: Parisot Frédéric / Creative Commons**

A P-51 Mustang crashed shortly after takeoff from the Durango-La Plata County Airport in Colorado on July 4, killing the two pilots on board.

The Mustang's owner, John Earley, was reportedly receiving flight instruction from Michael Schlarb when the rare airplane went down just outside the airport perimeter fence.

According to eyewitnesses, the 1944 P-51D had just gotten airborne when it suddenly banked left and crashed near a road.

There are about 160 P-51s in flying condition left in the world out of more than 15,000 built. The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the cause of Friday's crash.

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