Sunday, August 21, 2011
Stunt pilot killed in fiery air show crash after plane nosedives into deadly downward spiral
A stunt pilot has been killed in fiery crash during an air show after his plane appeared unable to get out of a downward spiral.
The biplane plummeted nose-first into the ground at the downtown Kansas City air show, after the pilot was unable to pull out of a manoeuvre.
No spectators were injured, Missouri Department of Aviation spokesman Joe McBride said.
It was the first fatal crash at the annual Kansas City Aviation Expo Air Show.
Event officials identified the fallen pilot as Bryan Jensen.
A website promoting a pilot by the same name who was scheduled to perform at the show said he had been flying aerobatics for 15 years, worked for a major airline and had more than 23,000 hours of flight time.
Witnesses told the Kansas City Star that the red biplane 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 Kansas City Council member Jan Marcason, who was watching the aerial acrobatics when the plane crashed.
Other bystanders 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 Sunday. The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating.