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Restored Fighter Jet Crashes, Killing 1

July 25, 2006

HICKORY, N.C. (AP) _ A restored Korean War-era military jet crashed and burst into flames Monday, killing the pilot shortly after the F-86 Sabre took off, authorities said.

The single-seat plane crashed several hundred feet from the Hickory Regional Airport runway, said Hickory city spokeswoman Mandy Pitts. The ejection seat wasn’t used, officials said.

The aircraft was headed to an air show in Wisconsin, Pitts said.

Federal Aviation Administration agents had not released the pilot’s name by Monday evening. Family and friends, however, identified the pilot as Wyatt Fuller of Hickory.

Fuller’s warplane collection included a T-6 World War II trainer, a T-33 jet and the F-86 Sabre jet that crashed.

The cause of the 11:40 a.m. crash has not been determined. The FAA was investigating.

Lt. Col. Jim Carr, a member of the Civil Air Patrol and a friend, said Fuller had trouble with the jet’s landing wheels when he returned from his last aviation show in Alabama.

Fuller was married and had three children.

Update hourly