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Airshow Performer Jim Maroney Dies In Crash

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Veteran airshow performer Jim "Fang" Maroney died Sunday when his Super Chipmunk show plane crashed in Monroe County in Tennessee. Maroney was on his way from Illinois to the Beach Balloon and Sky Fest in New Smyrna Beach, Fla., when the aircraft went down. Circumstances of the crash are not clear but the aircraft hit the side of a mountain in the Cherokee National Forest. Winds were light and there was no precipitation recorded in the area on Sunday. Maroney, 59, was a long-time fighter pilot who was the former commander of the North Dakota Air National Guard. 

He was also the principal adviser to actor Tom Cruise during the shooting of Top Gun. His low and slow routine in the Chipmunk was popular at airshows and he was well-respected in the airshow industry. “He was very safety-conscious,” FargoAirSho past chairman Darrol Schroeder told Fargo's inforum.com. “I mean, he gave the safety briefings at all of our recent airshows. … He was always so concerned about aviation safety.”

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