Strikemaster Crashes, Pilot Believed Lost

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Police in upstate New York say a "loss of thrust" preceded the likely fatal crash of a BAC 167 Strikemaster into the ice-covered Hudson River near Kingston, N.Y., on Saturday. Pilot Dr. Michael Faraldi is missing and presumed dead after the 42-year-old British jet trainer/light attack aircraft crashed about 1:30 p.m. Witnesses said the plane did a low pass over Kingston Airport before pulling into a vertical climb. Police said the loss of power occurred during the climb and witnesses reported the plane nosed over and hit the ice almost vertically after 360-degree rotation. The Strikemaster has ejection seats but there was no report of an ejection.

Faraldi bought the plane that day in Nashville and was flying it to Columbia County Airport, about 25 miles north of Kingston. It had made a fuel stop in Johnstown, Pa. The Strikemaster first flew in 1967 and was originally marketed as a jet trainer and counterinsurgency platform. Most have been retired to museums or private collections but they're still in service with Ecuador's air force.