Crash Claims The Life Of Stunt Pilot Eddie Andreini

Illustration for article titled Crash Claims The Life Of Stunt Pilot Eddie Andreini

Eddie Andreini, 77, died on Sunday afternoon as the result of a crash of his Stearman biplane during a performance at the "Thunder Over Solano" air show at Travis Air Force Base in California. But was a poor response ultimately to blame for his death?

Colonel David Mott of the 60th Operations Group at Travis AFB said Andreini was performing a stunt called "cutting a ribbon," in which he flew inverted and very close to the ground, when something went wrong. The video below shows Andreini performing the stunt successfully on Saturday.

Colonel Mott said winds were not likely a factor, as Saturday's winds were higher than Sunday, and called the weather uneventful. Andreini had been flying stunt shows for 25 years.


Photographer Roger Bockrath witnessed the event and said, "The plane was essentially intact, just wrong side down." Bockrath also said about two and a half minutes went by before someone showed up with a fire extinguisher, and it was five minutes before a fire truck arrived to extinguish the fire.

"He should be in the hospital with second-degree burns and smoke inhalation. Instead, he's at the coroner's office," Bockrath said. "It's shocking to me how long it took. I'm still rattled by it."


How does that look to you?

Here's Eddie doing what he did best, owning it in his Stearman. Godspeed, Eddie.

Top photo: Screen cap from Vimeo

Source: SF Gate / Fox News

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I was standing under the wing of the B52 in you see in the video. The plane hit the ground and slid what seemed to be forever, but it didn't seem like it was that hard a landing. I really thought the pilot would be ok. But then we waited, and waited, and waited for the ambulances and fire trucks to get out there. Maybe 2 minutes after the plane came to a stop you could see the fire start, still no fire trucks. A couple dudes hit it with a fire extinguisher, but it wasn't nearly enough. Still no fire trucks. A bunch of MP's stormed onto the runway in riot gear and stood between the crowd and the crash yelling at everyone to stay back, while no one in the crowd was doing anything. It was almost comical. The crash was pretty far out, so I'm not sure what they thought we were going to do. An ambulance finally showed up, then a couple minutes later a fire truck showed up, but even then the hoses didn't get going right away. Like the quote in the article said, had the emergency services showed up right away, it's possible the pilot would have lived.