This is so sad. Michel Leusch, Red Bull’s world champion stunt pilot was tragically killed in a plane crash while performing at an air show in China on Aug. 27. Get the full report and see the heartbreaking accident footage here.
Our thoughts truly go out to Michel’s colleagues and loved ones during this difficult time. Michel was reportedly participating in an air show during the the 1st Silk Road International General Aviation Convention at the Danxia airport in China, according to the Mirror. Chinese authorities confirmed that the South African pilot spiraled out of control before he crashed to the ground.
The pilot appeared to lose control of the XA42 plane during a routine stunt dive. The plane smashed into the Gobi desert about 100 meters away from the airport, according to reports. Shocking footage was captured during the incident, picturing the plane trailing down with smoke coming from the tail. China Xinhua News was the first to announce the news. “South Africa pilot dead in plane crash in China air show. Plane lost control when diving,” the publication reported. “Michel Leusch has tragically crashed in China. A huge loss for all South African flying and especially those who knew and flew with him.”
The South African, who flew under Red Bull’s sponsorship, was a beloved member of the aviator stunt pilot team. He first earned the title of world champion at the Intermediate World Aerobatic Championships at Mossel Bay in 2014.
Many of Michel’s loved ones continue to grieve the terrible loss. “Rest in peace my friend. Condolences to Natalie, Mike, Michel’s father, and the rest of Michel’s family and friends,” Michel’s friend, Cobus Brink said. “Your loss is mine too. I still remember Mr Leusch’s pride when his son was crowned the World Champion and Michel’s pride in his dad for being there to share his joy. “
“You will be sincerely missed by just the person you were and always will be and I will always remember all the fun times we had together and thank you for all your help you gave me with my Rc flying and your support,” another friend, Trevor Viljoen stated.
Authorities are currently investigation into the incident to determine the cause of death.
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