Ventura, CA Air Show Crash Kills Two, Jun 1985


Ventura, Calif. - A low-flying F-4 crashed Saturday during an air show at the Point Mugu Naval Air Weapons station, killing its two crew members, Navy officials said.
Eyewitnesses said one of the crew members ejected from the jet as it flew less than 200 feet above the ground before crashing. The jet burst into flames when it hit the ground on the west side of the base, said spokesman Vance Vasquez.
The jet and its crew had been taking part in the 38th Point Mugu Airshow. It was performing with five other military aircraft when it crashed.
Eyewitness Jim Hardie said the plane was banking right when a sudden burst of flame came from the engine area.
"We saw a real, quick flash in the middle of the toss of flames," Hardie said.
The plane was about 150 to 200 feet from the ground at the time, said Hardie, who was about a quarter-mile from the crash.
There were no injuries on the ground, said Vasquez. He said the plane went down in a remote area of the base.
The show was halted and the thousands of spectators were told to leave the base. Vasquez said the show was scheduled to continue Sunday.
The jet was a QF-4 Phantom II, assigned to the Naval Air Weapons Test Squadron at Point Mugu. The Q designation means the plane is used as a target by the Navy, Vasquez said.

Indiana Gazette Pennsylvania 1985-06-18