Contrary to earlier reports, the plane that crashed in California on Sunday was not hired by Eagles fans, reports Matt Lombardo of NJ.com.
NBC reported that a single-engine plane towing a banner crashed and caught fire during takeoff around 3:30 ET. NBC reported that one person died in the crash and that the pilot was the only person on board. During a rescue attempt, a second person sustained minor injuries, NBC reported.
The plane that crashed was attempting to attach to a Bud Light banner, reports the Los Angeles Times. The pilot's name has not been released.
Initial reports connected the crash with a plane funded by Eagles fans that was preparing to fly a banner over Dallas Cowboys practice in Oxnard, Calif. on Sunday afternoon. Stephen McKenzie of ABC Philadelphia confirmed that the pilot for the Eagles banner plane was okay, and was not able to fly the plane as scheduled because the airport was closed.
The Eagles banner would have been on the next plane scheduled to take off, but could not do so because of the crash, reports Kate Larsen of NBC Los Angeles.
The plane funded by Eagles fans was to float a banner reading “WE'VE GOT DEMARCO” through the sky above Cowboys training camp, according to ESPN. The Eagles signed former Cowboys running back DeMarco Murray this off-season.
A fan thought to be behind the stunt tweeted that the banner was to fly over Cowboys practice at 5:30 ET, but later posted a series of tweets expressing his distress after hearing about the crash.
Earlier on Sunday, a plane bearing a banner that read, “WE STILL DEM BOYZ!!!! #SACKSCOMIN” flew over Eagles practice, which was reportedly preemptive retaliation after Cowboys fans heard of Philadelphia's own banner plans.
Cowboys defensive end Greg Hardy helped Dallas fans pay for the plane that flew over Lincoln Financial Field by donating $300 to a GoFundMe.com page. Eagles offensive tackle Lane Johnson called the incident, “a waste of money.”
Since the original news of the crash, both Eagles and Cowboys fans began donating to the GoFundMe.com page in support of the victim's family. The fan who created the page tweeted that he intended to give the donated money to the family of the victim, despite the tragedy being unrelated to the Eagles.
- Erin Flynn