L-39 Pilot Dies In Airshow Crash

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A member of the Hoppers civilian jet demonstration team was killed Saturday when his L-39 Albatros went down at an airshow in Davenport, Iowa. The pilot, Glenn Smith, of Frisco, Texas, was part of a three-ship formation when his aircraft went down in a field near the airport. The crash was visible to the crowd and resulted in a large fireball. The show resumed Sunday "out of respect for our fallen aviator," according to a note posted on Quad City Air Show website.

The Hoppers are a group of private L-39 owners from varying backgrounds who say their goal is to interact with children at airshows to inspire them to achieve. "The Hoppers have been blessed through hard work and a little luck to be in a position to fly these planes," the team says on its website. "Our goal is for kids to gain an appreciation of what these jets are all about and to walk away thinking 'I could do that too. All I have to do is work hard in school and think big!'" There has been no word from the team whether it will perform next week at the Waukegan, Ill., airshow as scheduled.