Man survives plane crash at the Bowling Green-Warren County Regional Airport

Published: May. 2, 2020 at 12:08 PM CDT
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A man survived a crash of a historic World War I-era de Havilland DH-4 biplane at the Bowling Green-Warren County Regional Airport at 6:55 a.m. Saturday.

Dorian Walker was part of the nonprofit educational group, Friends of Vintage Flight and their mission is to honor and remember military aviators from World War I.

The DH-4 was America's first warplane and was built in 1918.

The 'Friends of Vintage Airplanes' acquired the plane and after 10,000 hours of rebuilding it was time for a test flight, which occurred Saturday morning.

"The people working on it were experts in their field. We had many certified FAA inspectors involved, mechanics involved, and despite what occurred on the flight the incredible work is why I am standing here as a witness," said Dorian Walker, pilot. "When I landed or when I made contact with the earth. I immediately went through all my safety procedures turning the gas and everything associated with flight off. Unbuckled myself and walked away. So that is a testimony to all those folks and the structure of the airplane."

Walker walked away injury-free. He was checked out by medical professionals and got the all-clear.

"It departed normally, but then as I started to turn into what is the normal traffic pattern I noticed that the left-wing dropped and so I took all the normal elective procedures. I have an extensive amount of hours flying historic and old airplanes," added Walker. "So I took all the normal procedures to fly one of these antiques and it didn't respond very well, so I knew at this point that I needed to make sure I got to the field as quickly as possible and proceeded on that course of action."

Walker landed the plane in a field on the airport's property.

This accident is currently under investigation by the Federal Aviation Administration.

"We are meeting with the FAA, The National Transportation Safety Board, and everyone wants to get to the bottom of this and this was a valuable American asset, not just an asset to the Friends of Vintage Flight. It was a story that hasn't been told. The only place you will see this airplane is in the Smithsonian, the space museum, and the National Museum of the Air force."

This was the only flying original DH-4 plane in the world.