Well Known Air Show Pilot Went Down Just After Takeoff In His F8F Bearcat
Very sad news came late Wednesday as local Texas media reported that the F8F flown by well-known airshow pilot Howard Pardue went down just after 1400 local time on departure from Stephens County (TX) airport (KBKD), about 90 miles west of Fort Worth. Pardue was fatally injured in the accident.
The Breckenridge American Online reports that the Texas Department of Public Safety said the Bearcat had just lifted off the runway when it went down. A post-impact fire ensued, and Pardue, age 77, was pronounced dead shortly thereafter.
Pardue, who also raced the Bearcat, was the only person on board the Bearcat at the time of the accident. Breckenridge police and fire personnel responded to the accident. According to FAA records, the Grumman was built in 1945 and had a valid airworthiness certificate. (File image of Howard Pardue's Grumman F8F Bearcat)