From the Associated Press
July 10, 2003

Two Killed in Cheyenne, Wyo. Crash
of Vintage World War II Bomber


    CHEYENNE, Wyoming (AP) - A World War II-era German bomber en route to an air show crashed into a building under construction Thursday, killing the pilot and his passenger, police said.
    Witnesses said they heard a sputtering sound shortly before the twin-engine HE-111 plowed through a chain link fence and slammed into the brick structure, igniting a fire that lasted an hour, police Lt. Robert Korber said. A construction worker who was inside the building - an unfinished school bus washing facility - fled and escaped injury, said Tom Rooney of the Laramie County school district.
    The bomber was the last of its kind known to be flying in the world, said Tina Corbett, spokeswoman for the Commemorative Air Force. The plane belonged to the Arizona wing of the organization, which flies and restores World War II aircraft. The plane was en route from Midland, Texas, to an air show in Missoula, Montana when the pilot reported engine failure, Corbett said.
    The identities of the pilot and passenger were being withheld until their families could be notified.
    "The plane came down in a field," Korber said. "We're just grateful the pilot probably made the decision that he saw a residential area in front of him and decided to put it down where there were not a lot of houses, or this could have been much, much worse."

CAF German HE-111 Heinkel Bomber
Crashes Near Cheyenne Airport


    MIDLAND, Texas (July 10, 2003) - A Commemorative Air Force (CAF) operated twin-engine World War II German Heinkel He-111 bomber crashed at approximately 1:10 p.m. (Mountain Time) on July 10, 2003, near the Cheyenne Municipal Airport, Cheyenne, Wyoming. The plane was on final approach when the pilot reported an engine failure. After impacting the ground, it skidded into the Laramie County Independent School District school bus wash facility. The pilot and copilot, the only occupants of the airplane, were killed. Both the building and plane were destroyed by the post- accident fire.
    The pilot of the plane, Neil R. Stamp, and the copilot, Charles Stephen Bates, perished in the crash. Stamp, 56, resided in Cave Creek, Ariz. Bates, 54, resided in Phoenix, Ariz. Both were members of the Arizona Wing of the CAF.
    Based in Mesa, Ariz., and operated by the Arizona Wing of the CAF, the aircraft departed CAF Headquarters in Midland, Texas, Thursday morning at 10:30 a.m. (Central Time) en route to an air show in Missoula, Montana.
    The Heinkel He-111 was initially designed as a transport aircraft and was first flown in 1935. The modified bomber version was used extensively in the Spanish Civil War and in World War II. It was technologically advanced for its time and was faster than most single engine fighters. In 1941, the Spanish government acquired a license to build the airplane at its CASA plant in Tablada, Spain.
    The CAF's aircraft was a Spanish built version of the He-111 and was officially designated a CASA-2111. It was at one time the personal transport plane of Spanish general Francisco Franco. The CAF purchased the aircraft in England in 1977. According to Denis Bergstrom, editor of Gallant Warriors, the CAF's He-111 (CASA-2111) was the last flyable aircraft of its type.
    The CAF is a nonprofit organization dedicated to flying and restoring World War II aircraft. Based out of Midland, Texas, the organization has over 9,000 members and operates a fleet of over 140 World War II aircraft