Exactly 20 years ago at the Ostend airport airshow: a light plane crashed close to a crowd watching the airshow, killing the pilot and nine spectators. About 60 people were injured, many with critical burns caused when flames and debris rained down.
The pilot of the single-seater plane was Capt. Omar Hani Bilal, a member of the Jordanian air force display team, and was performing an acrobatic solo when he apparently lost control of the plane about five minutes into the maneuvers.
The plane appeared to be pulling out of a nose-dive when it hit the edge of the runway and burst into flames near a first aid post and a stand packed with spectators.
The crash occurred about 5 p.m.
A fleet of ambulances and military helicopters ferried the wounded to hospitals as far away as Brussels (Nederoverheembeek).
Sunday’s displays at the two-day international air show were canceled after the crash. In fact the Ostend air show has never been held since.