Pilot Critical After Airshow Crash

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Alexander Supeli was in critical condition Friday after escaping the burning wreckage of his crashed Super Decathlon at an airshow some 80 miles southeast of Jakarta. The crash at the Bandung Air Show at Husein Sastranegara Airport was witnessed by hundreds of spectators, including "dozens of schoolchildren," according to a report in The Daily Mail. The moment of impact was caught on film by the Associated Press and Reuters. Local news coverage included video of the crash, which also made its way to YouTube. The video shows the aircraft descending into the ground as it performs a low-altitude roll to the left. The roll appears to hesitate as the aircraft passes through inverted and continues to descend. The roll then seems to accelerate slightly, but the right wing strikes the ground before the aircraft reaches wings-level. It cartwheels and quickly bursts into flames.

Early details not provided by the images are lacking. The Daily Mail quoted a fellow pilot who said, "I believe it was a human error because the plane was in good condition." It was not clear whether that pilot could have been aware of other potential complications that may have led to the crash. The airshow had been celebrating the 200th anniversary of the city of Bandung. The accident took place on the show's second day. Supeli reportedly has more than 2,000 hours of flight experience. He survived the crash but was rushed to the hospital with life-threatening injuries.