Am I My Brother’s Keeper



Here is an awsome photograph and story by Samuel Barr of Samuel Barr Photography.

In the photographer's own words:"I won't go into detail as there's so much here, but while I was taking this shot my roommate grabbed me and my other roommate and we started to run as fast as we could. I could feel the heat behind me as the flames from the burning jet fuel began to engulf the area where we were standing. As we could feel the heat on our backs getting closer to us we suddenly dove behind a garbage dumpster and hugged the ground. We didn't know if the burning fuel would come over the dumpster, but it was all that was there to cover us.  When we heard the fuel splatter on the dumpster, we got up and witnessed what can only be described as a war zone. On that day, my roommate was his brother's keeper – he saved our lives!"


19 Responses to “Am I My Brother’s Keeper”

  1. David Jay Says:

    Whoa! That’s such a gnarly shot! I would’ve been running the other way!

  2. Samuel Barr Says:

    Hi DJ,

    At first it seemed like we were too far away for anything to happen to us. But, once the plane hit the runway and starting exploding we were in trouble. I would have been left there standing if it wasn’t for my roommate. After we started running and I felt the heat on my back getting closer I thought we were gonna get burnt. Once behind the dumpster I’ve never hugged the ground so much. If I could have become one with the ground I would have. God is good, and my Mom, Grandmother, and Aunts prayers help cover me that day.

  3. cuphotography Says:

    Wow Sam, that’s one heckuva photograph and one helluva story dude! You best be buying that roommate beers for a long long time., 🙂

  4. Bumatay Says:

    That’s what I call a truly awesome photograph! I’m glad you’re ok.

  5. Samuel Barr Says:

    Hi cuphotography, I don’t know where he is as we were both in the military at that time and have gone our separate ways. But, who knows maybe I’ll see him again someday.

  6. Samuel Barr Says:

    Hi Bumatay, thank you and I’m glad too!

  7. Brent Says:

    Hey Sam, Wondering where and when that airshow disaster was. I witnessed/experienced a terrible airshow disaster in Germany in the late 80’s in which 78 people died. Long story, but my friends and I were standing only moments earlier where one of the three colliding Italian Jets crashed into the crowd. Luckily (for us) we thought the show was over and began to move back when they announced the Italian team was ready to begin. Most undescribably horrible event I have ever witnessed.
    That is a very moving image you posted.

  8. Samuel Barr Says:

    Hi Brent,

    That sounds like the same show. This was the 1988 Ramstein air show at Ramstein Air Base. The Italian jets collided over the runway in front of the people. Just before the fire we saw one of the planes’ wing hit the other plane but at first we thought the sparks and fire was part of the show. It never crossed our minds that there would be an accident. Where you in the service during that time?

  9. Brent Says:

    Hi Sam. Yes, same Air Show…Flugtag ’88 at Ramstein. I had been taking pics of all the teams all day, and was able to take a few of the Italian team before running out of film (yes, the film days) just as they started to do the “Pierced Heart” stunt. I continued to watch through my camera for the zoom purposes. As the solo jet broke off and made its big loop back and came around and headed for the others to “pierce” the heart they had formed, it looked horribly wrong, I lowered my camera and told my friends that it doesn’t look right, and the next instant it clipped the other two jets and well…you know the rest. Amazing that they set it up to have that solo jet coming TOWARDS the crowd just in case of an accident. As terrible of an accident that it was I am amazed that there were not a lot more deaths the way the one jet slammed into the crowd of people. Anyways…
    Yes, I was in the Army stationed in Pirmasens at the time. Was in-country from ’87-’89. You?

    • AJ Says:

      I was in Pirmasens too, 86 – 89.
      22nd Avn Det. 59th Ord
      I was also at Ramstien during the airshow crash. Crazy.
      Had a great time in Germany. Loved it there.

  10. Samuel Barr Says:

    Wow, I haven’t the word “Flugtag” since I left Germany. You wanna know what’ funny? This shot was the last shot on my roll that day. Is that wild or what? I would have taken tons of more pictures but couldn’t. I’ve got a pic of a helicopter that was on display and you can see the smoke in the background from the accident. Wild. I was stationed at Miesau Army Depot and was in country from ’85-’90. Du spect Deutcsh? As you can see, my spelling is horrible now.

  11. Roland Fuchs Says:

    Found your website today with google.
    Thought I write you a short message, because I’m looking for photos from the 28.8 before the crash was. Not interested for the airplanes, only for peoples.

  12. Scott Hildebrand Says:

    My dad served in the US govt and we were stationed there when this happened we were supposed to be there and my dad was going to help with the concessions but something came up. Thank god!! I recieved severe burns from another accident and was treated at Landsthul hospital they had alot of practice. Quite a few people that we knew died that day..

  13. Scott Hildebrand Says:

    Watched the plane hit the Pentagon on 9-11 I was in Rossyln coming out onto 395s and watched the 1st plume rise off the bldng. I must have bad luck with planes and disasters happening closeby.

  14. dan unterman Says:

    i was active duty and worked in finance. me and randy tipton where in the front along the taxiway in front of the blue tents. we survived and came back to the states. w/ the blue angel that went down yesterday the networks are showing ramstein again and brining back the memories. i can still feel the heat from the fire. i dont goto airshows anymore even thought dayton has the biggest in the states every year.

  15. Nancy Says:

    My husband was supposed to work in one of the booths that got hit with debris and fire, but fortunately he got sick that day and couldn’t attend. I presume this photo was taken in the 1989 Airshow at Ramstein Air Base, in Ramstein, Germany.

  16. Paul Says:

    The accident was 8.28.88. I was there. The accident occured during the “grand finale” of the air show – the final event of the day. To beat the crowds that would soon swell the parking lot I decided to start walking to my car and watch the show as I walked – the plane that crashed into the spectators landed exactly where I had been camped out just a few minutes before….this was a day I’ll never forget and I’m posting this blog nearly 20 years after the crash…

  17. rick Says:

    Hey I just came across this website while thinking of flutag 88. I was there that day. I was just 12 yrs old then but I remember it like yesterday. My mom was working a stand for HQ AAFCE and I wanted to go to flightline to watch. She told me to wait until she got off in 5min. Sadly 3 min later it happened. That was 21 yrs ago… I haven’t gone to an airshow since.

  18. Michael Lombardi Says:

    I hate that day I lost the love of my life. Sill have bad dreams at night flash backs etc. I always wish that I went with her. The pain over the years is getting worst and worst.

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