Stunt pilot dies in air show crash
The Local · 31 Aug 2015, 08:01
Published: 31 Aug 2015 08:01 GMT+02:00
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The incident happened on Sunday afternoon at the airfield Friesach-Hirt where around 500 people were watching the performance.
The 51-year-old pilot from Carinthia, who leaves behind two young children, was performing air stunts in a light aerobatic “Pitts Special” biplane when he apparently lost control and crashed into the ground with a loud bang.
He died on the airfield after sustaining fatal injuries.
“At the time of the incident there were about 500 spectators in the area,” said commander of the local police station Marianne Makoru. “They all stayed in the secure zone so they were not in danger.”
Why the pilot lost control of the plane is still unclear. He was described as level-headed and not a risk taker who has performed in air shows for years without any previous incidents.
“The exact cause of the incident has yet to be confirmed, but at this point in the investigation we can exclude any third-party negligence,” said Makoru, adding that that air show event was cancelled after the crash.
Crash follows similar incidents abroad
The incident follows crashes at air stunt shows in England, Switzerland and the United States in the past few days.
In the UK 11 people were killed after an experienced pilot crashed while performing stunts over a motorway as part of the Shoreham Air Show.
In New York on Friday, a pilot died after crashing while training for New York Air Show.