2006 Calera plane crash

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The 2006 Calera plane crash was a fatal aviation accident that occurred near the Shelby County Airport during the Birmingham Aero Club's Wings and Wheels Air Show on September 23, 2006. Pilot Clayton Reuse of Indian Springs was one of five club members flying spectators around the site to raise money for the Southern Museum of Flight when his 4-seater Beechcraft Bonanza F-33 stalled out and crashed south of the airport around 1:00 PM. He was carrying Landon Smitherman, 11, and his father, John, of Brent. All three were pronounced dead at the scene.

Both fuel tanks had ruptured and no fuel was found at the crash site, leading federal investigators to the conclusion that the crash was caused by fuel exhaustion, making it impossible to maintain air speed during an attempted emergency landing. Interviews with passengers in Reuse's earlier flights confirmed that fuel gauges were in the yellow range, and there is no indication that fuel was added during the day of flying.


  • Kent, Dawn and Walter Bryant (September 24, 2006) "3 killed in airshow crash". Birmingham News.
  • Drexel, Keysha (September 27, 2006) "No fuel found at airplane crash site." Birmingham News.
  • Drexel, Keysha (February 28, 2007) "'Fuel management' blamed for sightseeing plane crash." Birmingham News