A veteran stunt pilot was killed on Sunday after his vintage civilian biplane crashed onto the tarmac during an air show at Travis Air Force Base in California, forcing the event to shut down.
The 77-year-old civilian pilot, identified as Eddie Andreini, was flying his vintage PT-17 Stearman biplane close to the ground while attempting an acrobatic aerial maneuver called "cutting the ribbon" at the two-day “Thunder Over Solano” show, Air Force Base officials said. The crash happened at about 2:05 p.m.
"No one wants to see an event like this," Col. David Mott, of Travis Air Force Base, said in published accounts of the accident. "Our hearts and condolences go out to the Andreini family."
The restored 1944 PT-17 Stearman biplane was registered to Eddie Andreini Air Shows Inc., which is based in the coastal community of Half Moon Bay. Andreini had been flying since he was 16 and had performed in air shows for more than 25 years.
The rest of the air show was canceled, and officials are asking anyone with video or photographs of the crash to contact them. The accident occurred away from spectators, and no one on the ground was hurt. The National Transportation Safety Board will lead the investigation into the crash.