British tourist killed in crash of vintage plane in Texas

MGN
Thursday, October 24, 2013 - 11:24am

A British tourist in the United States for his 41st wedding anniversary was killed in the crash of a vintage World War II-era plane in the waters off of Galveston, Texas, authorities said Thursday.

John Stephen Busby, 66, was visiting the area with his wife, police said. The pilot, identified as Keith Hibbett, 51, of Shady Shores, Texas, was also killed in Wednesday's crash.

The P-51 Mustang was owned by the Lone Star Flight Museum in Galveston. Known in recent years as the "Galveston Gal," the plane was used to give rides.

Busby was a paying customer, said Sgt. John Sampa of the Texas Highway Patrol.

The crash between Chocolate Bay and Galveston Bay was reported to the Coast Guard by the captain of a charter fishing boat shortly before noon.

A Coast Guard-led search found the plane in about three to five feet of water in an area known as West Bay. Both occupants were dead, officials said.

Federal Aviation Administration records show the plane was built in 1944. According to the museum's website, it was converted to a two-seat, dual-control training aircraft while serving in the El Salvadoran Air Force in the 1960s.

In recent years, it was painted with the "Galveston Gal" markings and was used to give people a flight experience for about $2,000 a flight.

The National Transportation Safety Board is leading the investigation.

In 2011, a highly-modified P-51 Mustang crashed into a group of spectators at the Reno Air Races in Nevada, killing the pilot and 10 others, and injuring more than 60 people.

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