World War 1 era plane badly damaged after crash landing

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – Over the weekend, the aviation community experienced a tragedy after a World War 1 era Dayton-Wright DH-4 Liberty Plane made a crash landing at the Bowling Green Warren County Airport.

The plane, the only flying original American military DH4, was taking off on its maiden voyage after restoration.

That restoration had taken workers 10,000 man hours to complete.

“It took quite a knock. It’s an all wooden airplane. It’s in rough shape,” said Dorian Walker, the pilot.

The DH4 was the very first war aircraft, made in the United States, to take American military members to Europe during World War 1.

Walker is thankful to be alive following the crash landing that severely damaged the plane.

“I felt immensely relieved I was alive but also relieved that I was so well protected. I literally just have to unstrap my safety harnesses and climb out of the aircraft,” said Walker.

The future for the plane is uncertain. The FAA and an insurance company must complete their evaluations of the aircraft before any kind of restoration attempts can even be considered.

“We know this is a worthwhile cause. We, right now, we are still in shock. So, we are taking this one day at a time. The mission hasn’t gone away and that is to honor and remember. The airplane has, so we have got to see, we are uncertain at this point what the future is. The FAA has been here and they will give their report to the NTSB, National Transportation Safety Board, which is the next authority and so the aircraft is sequestered until they have looked at it and have determined whether they will conduct an investigation,” said Walker.