Sunday, August 21, 2011

Air Show News: Stunt pilot dies in US air show crash at Kansas City Airshow

From 9 News on Saturday, Aug 20: Stunt pilot dies in US air show crash
A stunt pilot - Bryan Jensen - has died in a fiery crash during an air show after his plane appeared unable to pull out of a downward spiral and nosedived into an airfield, authorities say.

Missouri Department of Aviation spokesman Joe McBride said the pilot couldn't pull out of a manoeuvre and crashed the biplane into the grass at a downtown airfield on Saturday.

No spectators were injured.

McBride said it was the first fatal crash at the annual Kansas City Aviation Expo Air Show.

Event officials identified the pilot as Bryan Jensen but no other information was released.

Witnesses told the Kansas City Star that the red Horzon Hobbit plane was performing loops, then couldn't pull up from a downward spiral. They said the crowd fell silent when the plane hit the ground and burst into flames.

"It was right in front of the crowd," said City Council member Jan Marcason, who was watching the aerial acrobatics when the plane crashed around 1:45 p.m.

Others said it appeared that the pilot was going to gain control of the plane and that the manoeuvre initially looked scripted.

"It was looking cool at first, like he knew what he was doing," Jason Cook, of Blue Springs, told the newspaper.

Spectators were asked to leave Wheeler Downtown Airport after the crash, though the show was expected to resume on Sunday. The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating.

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