Air show crash kills civilian pilot

Windsor Genova – Fourth Estate Cooperative Contributor

Fairfield, CA, United States (4E) – A biplane crashed and its pilot was killed during an exhibition show at the Travis Air Force Base in Fairfield on Sunday afternoon.

No other people was hurt as the 1944-built Stearman believed piloted by 77-year-old Eddie Andreini crashed in an open field away from spectators at 2:05 p.m. Spectators at the “Thunder Over Solano” show were evacuated after the accident and the rest of the show was cancelled.

Witnesses and videos taken by spectators saw the plane flipped over as it tried to fly upside down near the ground. But it hit the ground and dragged over the ground. Black smoke soon arose from the wreckage.

Local emergency responders and fire trucks rushed to the crash site.

The Stearman is a two-seat, fixed-wing, single-engine plane commonly used to train pilots during World War II. Turlock pilot Steve Stavrakakis, who performed an hour before the crash, said Andreini was one of the last people he spoke with before leaving the show and he flew a Stearman better than anybody else.

Security forces at the base requested individuals who have photos or video footage of the accident to lend their materials to help in the investigation of the crash.

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