Missouri stunt pilot killed in air show crash

Reuters News
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Posted: Jun 28, 2015 3:24 PM

By Kevin Murphy

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (Reuters) - A pilot was killed when his biplane crashed while he was performing stunts in front of a crowd at a Missouri air show on Saturday, police said on Sunday.

Steven O’Berg, 50, crashed shortly before 2 p.m. on Saturday in Cameron, Missouri, about 50 miles northeast of Kansas City, according to a news release from Cameron Police Chief Rick Bashor.

O’Berg flew in a Pitts S-28 biplane capable of vertical maneuvers, and featuring a loud exhaust and a propeller tone that was popular with audiences, according to a description on the Cameron Airshow website. O’Berg lived in Smithville, Missouri, near Cameron, Bashor said.

Bashor provided no details of the crash but a witness told The Kansas City Star that the engine died, restarted and died again before the plane went down in trees as a crowd that included many children looked on.

Rescue crews transported O’Berg to a hospital. No one else was injured, and spectators were not in danger, according to a statement on the show’s website page.

The show was canceled after the crash on Saturday but resumed on Sunday

“We do this show because we love to fly, we love to entertain, we love to celebrate life,” the statement said. “That's what we're going to do today.”

The National Transportation Safety Board had an investigator at the air show site on Sunday to try to determine the cause of the crash, said board spokesman Keith Holloway.

(Reporting by Kevin Murphy in Kansas City; Editing by Phil Berlowitz)