Pilot Dead After Aircraft Collide at Air Show

Two planes collided during an airshow in Portugal on Sunday, resulting in the death of one of the pilots.

The midair accident involved two Yakovlev Yak-52 taking part in a demonstration at the Beja Air Show, according to Portugal’s air force, the Daily Beast reported.

“The air force regrets to announce that at 4:05 pm (1505 GMT), at the Beja Air Show, two planes were the victim of an accident during an aerial demonstration,” the air force said in a statement cited by the outlet.

The rest of the air show was understandably canceled following the crash.

International news agency BNO News shared footage of the collision on social media.


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“Two Yakovlev Yak-52 aircraft of the Spanish-Portuguese Yakstars formation team collided during the Beja Air Show, Portugal,” the Aviation Safety Network database reported, though it noted that all of its information came from “unofficial” sources like news outlets or posts to social media.

“One aircraft crashed, killing the spanish pilot. The other aircraft involved in the collision managed to land, according to local media,” it said.

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“Videos of the accident suggest that one aircraft (Yakstar 4) descended from the six-ship formation and made a steep climb in front of the Vic-formation of the remaining five aircraft,” it reported. “During this maneuver the aircraft struck the propeller of the aircraft in the left wing position (Yakstar 3, EC-NGZ). Yakstar 4 suffered severe damage to the tail, lost control and crashed. A post-impact fire erupted.”

It also noted that the planes had been manufactured in 1983.

Other video on X showed the accident from a different angle.


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The Daily Beast said that the planes involved were part of the Spanish-Portuguese Yaksters team.

It wasn’t clear whether the aircraft not flying in formation with the others was doing so as part of a planned maneuver, or how much of its climb had been pre-planned.

The aircraft it struck landed quickly, but apparently under the control of its pilot.

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George Upper is the former Editor-in-Chief of The Western Journal and was a weekly co-host of “WJ Live,” powered by The Western Journal. He is currently a contributing editor in the areas of faith, politics and culture. A former U.S. Army special operator, teacher and consultant, he is a lifetime member of the NRA and an active volunteer leader in his church. Born in Foxborough, Massachusetts, he has lived most of his life in central North Carolina.

George Upper, is the former editor-in-chief of The Western Journal and is now a contributing editor in the areas of faith, politics and culture. He currently serves as the connections pastor at Awestruck Church in Greensboro, North Carolina. He is a former U.S. Army special operator, teacher, manager and consultant. Born in Massachusetts, he graduated from Foxborough High School before joining the Army and spending most of the next three years at Fort Bragg. He holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in English as well as a Master’s in Business Administration, all from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. He and his wife life only a short drive from his three children, their spouses and his grandchildren. He is a lifetime member of the NRA and in his spare time he shoots, reads a lot of Lawrence Block and John D. MacDonald, and watches Bruce Campbell movies. He is a fan of individual freedom, Tommy Bahama, fine-point G-2 pens and the Oxford comma.


Foxborough, Massachusetts




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B.A., English, UNCG; M.A., English, UNCG; MBA, UNCG


North Carolina

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