A 77-year-old civilian pilot who had flown planes since he was a teenager was killed when he crashed his biplane Sunday while performing a low-to-the-ground stunt maneuver during an air show at Travis Air Force Base in Fairfield, Calif., authorities said.
Officials said Eddie Andreini of Half Moon Bay was piloting the Stearman biplane when it crashed in an open field away from spectators at 2:05 p.m. Black smoke rose from the wreckage as the tens of thousands of people who had flocked to the “Thunder Over Solano” show were evacuated from the base.
Andreini’s plane was inverted and flying close to the ground, performing a maneuver known as “cutting a ribbon,” when something went wrong, said Col. David Mott, 60th Operations Group commander at the base. The trick involves attaching a knife to the plane and slicing a ribbon just off the ground, Mott said.
For the complete story by Stephanie M. Lee and Evan Sernoffsky of the San Francisco Chronicle, click here.
Photo by Eddie Andreini Air Shows