A WW II plane - a P-15 Mustang airplane - crash occurred on Wednesday, leaving the two passengers dead, according to a Fox News report on Wednesday. The World War II-era plane was the property of the Lone Star Flight Museum in Galveston. The plane was also registered to the Texas Aviation Hall of Fame.
Pilot Keith Hibbett, 51, and John Stephen Busby, 66, died in the crash at the Galveston and Brazoria county line. Busby had traveled to Galveston with his wife to celebrate their 41st wedding anniversary. Busby had paid for a flight in the vintage plane, and Hibbett was reportedly one of the museum’s senior pilots for over a decade, having flown every plane in the museum. He was said to have been a very experienced, former military aviator.
The United States Coast Guard said that the plane crashed near Galveston in shallow waters. Steve Lehmann, a petty officer, reported that the captain of a charter boat was the one who notified authorities about the accident after seeing the plane crash somewhere between Galveston Bay and Chocolate Bay. The plane crashed at approximately 11:40 a.m. in four feet of water. The plane was did not contact air-traffic controllers at the time of the incident. The bodies of the deceased were recovered from Chocolate Bay.
The aircraft - called the “Galveston Gal” - and was manufactured 69 years ago. In the 1960s – some twenty years later – the plane was converted to a two-seat, dual control TF-51 and was used in the El Salvadoran Air Force.
The cause of the crash is being investigated by the FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board.