Tuesday, August 23, 2011

A Sad Weekend

A clear, blue sky, white smoke trails, and the roar of engines - air shows are fun and exciting, watching skilled aviators demonstrate the capabilities of their aircraft as well as their own abilities. Unfortunately, behind those thrilling maneuvers, danger can be lurking. That simple fact was driven home this past weekend, when three separate accidents each claimed the life of an airshow performer.

At the Kansas City Air Show, pilot Bryan Jensen was lost in the crash of his biplane while performing before a large crowd of visitors during Saturday's performance. On Sunday, wingwalker Todd Green was performing his signature stunt - climbing from the wing of a Stearman biplane to the skid of a helicopter - when he fell about 200 feet to his death at the Selfridge Air National Guard Base in Michigan.

On Saturday, after completing a demonstration at the Bournemouth Air Festival, Flight Lieutenant Jon Egging, of the Royal Air Force Demonstration Team Red Arrows, died in the crash of his BAE Systems Hawk T1 jet. Egging, an 11 year veteran of the RAF, saw combat in Afghanistan flying the Harrier jump jet before joining the Red Arrows for the 2011 season.

Condolences to the families and friends of these three fine aviators.

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