Bryan Stokes, Bryan Stokes

A man uses a fire extinguisher on a Stearman biplane which crashed at Travis Air Force Base during the Thunder Over Solano air show on Sunday, May 4, 2014 in Fairfield, Calif. The pilot, Eddie Andreini, 77, of Half Moon Bay was killed.

Pilot killed in biplane crash at Travis air show

Published: Sunday, May. 4, 2014 - 7:58 pm
Last Modified: Monday, May. 5, 2014 - 1:40 am

A biplane crashed Sunday afternoon during an air show at Travis Air Force Base near Fairfield while performing acrobatic maneuvers, forcing an abrupt end to the event.

The crash happened about 2 p.m., according to news reports. Air show spectator Peter Walton told Sacramento’s KCRA-TV that the open cockpit biplane was flying low during a flyby when it went into the ground in an open field about a quarter-mile from spectators.

Lynn Lunsford of the Federal Aviation Administration said emergency responders said the pilot did not survive.

No spectators were believed to be injured. Travis officials stopped the event and led spectators off the base. The pilot’s fate was not immediately known.

Initial attempts to reach 60th Air Mobility Wing officials on base were unsuccessful. Lt. Col. Robert Couse-Baker, chief spokesman for the base’s 349th Air Mobility Wing, was en route to Travis.

The two-day “Thunder Over Solano” air show and open house featured military and civilian aircraft and was expected to draw about 100,000 spectators per day. Travis officials prior to the event said the weekend air show was the first at the base in three years.

Call The Bee’s Darrell Smith, (916) 321-1040. The Associated Press also contributed to this report.

Read more articles by Darrell Smith

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