Pilot killed in Kansas City air show crash

Reuters News
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Posted: Aug 20, 2011 10:08 PM
Pilot killed in Kansas City air show crash

By Kevin Murphy

KANSAS CITY, Missouri (Reuters) - The pilot of an aerobatic airplane died in a fiery crash on Saturday in front of shocked onlookers at a weekend air show in Kansas City.

Pilot Bryan Jensen's bi-plane, an aircraft with two parallel sets of wings, crashed at the Charles B. Wheeler Downtown Airport, officials said.

"The Kansas City Air Show offers heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of Bryan Jensen and the show is devastated by this terrible accident," the event's organizers said in a statement.

Video captured by a witness to the crash, and posted on the website of local television station KMBC, showed Jensen's plane spiraling downward and crashing in flames in the area of a runway at the airport.

Jensen, who grew up on a farm in Iowa, was flying a bright red propeller bi-plane called "The Beast" that was the only piston-powered biplane on the air show circuit with a thrust-to-weight ratio greater than 1:1, according to the website for the air show.

He had been an aerobatic pilot for 17 years but also worked for a major airline, flying jetliners as large as Boeing 747s, the website said.

Following the crash, the air show activities will resume on Sunday, organizers said.

They said Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board are investigating the crash.

(Editing by Alex Dobuzinskis and Peter Bohan)