Son: W.Va. air show pilot put safety first

September 18, 2011 - 10:40 AM
APTOPIX Crash WV Air Show

A single engine T-28 from the six-plane Trojan Horsemen Demonstration Flight Team crashes and explodes during a performance at the Thunder Over the Blue Ridge Open House and Air Show, Saturday, Sept. 17, 2011 at the 167th Airlift Wing in Martinsburg, W.Va. (AP Photo/Journal Newspaper, Ron Agnir)

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. (AP) — The son of a pilot killed when his post-World War II plane crashed during a show in West Virginia says his father had a passion for flying and always put safety first.

Sean Mangan told The Associated Press on Sunday his father, John "Flash" Mangan, was at the controls of the aircraft Saturday when it crashed into a runway and burst into flames in Martinsburg. It was the second deadly air show crash in a 24-hour period.

The younger Mangan says his 54-year-old father had been a member of the T-28 Warbird Aerobatic Formation Demonstration Team for five years.

Sean Mangan says he is one of three surviving children. Mangan also leaves behind his wife, Kathy.

Mangan described his father a veteran pilot.

An investigation into the crash continues.