Tragically, a pilot died when his plane crashed during an air show at the Travis Air Force Base in California, May 4. Hundreds of stunned onlookers watched in horror as the plane burst into flames and thick clouds of smoke darkened the skies.
Eddie Andreini, 77, was killed when his plane crashed, Col. David Mott of Travis Air Force Base said at a press conference, May 4. Eddie was attempting an aerial maneuver called “cutting the ribbon” when his biplane crashed upside down on the tarmac.
Travis Air Force Base: Pilot Killed In Horrific Air Show Crash
The crash occurred shortly after 2 p.m. said Col. Mott. The trick requires that the plane invert and fly close to the ground so that a knife attached to the plane can slice a ribbon just off the ground, reports Fox News.
“No one wants to see an event like this,” Col. Mott stated. “Our hearts and condolences go out to the Andreini family.”
Roger Bockrath, a retired photojournalist who was taking pictures the afternoon of the show, captured the routine, and witnessed the crash.
He said Eddie passed on two attempts at the trick before trying a third time. It was while making the third pass that he hit the tarmac and slid to a stop in an open field.
“He got down too low and hit the tarmac. He skidded about 500 feet and just sat there. The plane was essentially intact, just wrong side down,” Roger explained to The Sacramento Bee.
Travis Air Force Base: Pilot’s Plane Crashes During Air Show
Col. Mott said Eddie had been flying since he was 16 years old, and had performed in air shows for 25 years.
He would not speculate on the cause of the crash, and said winds were approximately 10 to 15 knots.
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— Bryant Perkins