The Ramstein Airshow Disaster 29/08/1988

The Ramstein Airshow Disaster Squadron Leader T E Martin BSc, MB, BS, DRCOG, RAF

 In August 1988 an aircraft of the Italian aerobatic display team fell into the spectator enclosure at the Ramstein Airshow, causing over 500 casualties. The survivors were triaged, treated and evacuated from Ramstein within 96 minutes. The speed and efficiency of this evacuation was a result of prior planning, thorough training, medical reinforcement, co-operation with other agencies and the availability of an abundance of vehicles for both air and road evacuation. Not surprisingly, though, problems did occur, especially with communications, casualty identification and documentation.

Looking Back: Ramstein air show crash

There were clear blue skies and near perfect weather on Aug. 28, 1988, as approximately 300,000 people gathered at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, to observe the “Flugtag ‘88” air show.

Ramstein air show disaster

The Ramstein air show disaster occurred on Sunday August 28, 1988 during the Flugtag ’88 airshow at the US Ramstein Air Base near the city of Kaiserslautern, West Germany. Aircraft of the Italian Air Force display team collided during their display, crashing to the ground in front of a crowd of about 300,000 people. 67 spectators and 3 pilots died. 346 spectators sustained serious injuries in the resulting explosion and fire, and hundreds of others had minor injuries. It is the second-deadliest air show accident (following that in 2002 at Sknyliv).

Aug. 28, 1988: Ramstein Air Show Disaster Kills 70, Injures Hundreds

1988: Three Italian Aermacchi MB-339 fighter jets collide in midair at the Ramstein air base in Germany, killing 70 people and causing serious injuries to 346 others. It’s one of the worst air show disasters in history. The accident occurred at the culmination of a complex maneuver by Frecce Tricolori, Italy’s military stunt-flight team. 

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