Oliver, BC World War II Planes Collide, Jul 1983


Oliver, British Columbia (AP) - Two World War II airplanes belonging to flying club members collided Saturday killing three people in the second crash in less than 24 hours involving the Western War Birds, authorities said.
A vacant hotel was set afire by one of the planes when it crashed to earth.
Witnesses said the two Harvard single-engine planes appeared to touch wings as they were getting into formation with 16 other planes to head for Pentiction, about 25 miles north of this small city 12 miles from the Canadian-U.S. border, for the opening of the Peach Festival, an annual summer fair.
The Harvard is a two-seater training craft used during World War II
The pilot and passenger in one plane and the pilot of the other plane were killed. No names were immediately released. No one on the ground was injured.
One of the planes crashed into the unoccupied Maple Leaf Motel two miles south of Oliver, witnesses said. The motel caught fire and firemen and ambulances rushed to the scene. The second plane crashed into a nearby orchard.
Wayne Watson, past president of the War Birds, who did not witness the accident, said the incident leaves the future of the club undecided.
The War Birds is a group of about 100 warplane enthusiasts from the northwestern United States and western Canada.
On Friday, a Stearman biplane appeared to lose power as it flew low over the motel where the group is meeting, said Royal Canadian Mounted Police Constable Mark Matoul.

Santa Cruz Sentinel California 1983-07-31