Pilot Killed In Skytypers Crash


The pilot of one of the T-6 Texans used by the Geico Skytypers was killed Friday when the aircraft went down shortly after takeoff from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport in Pennsylvania. The Skytypers were scheduled to perform at Great Pocono Raceway Airshow and the crash occurred during a practice flight. The pilot has been identified as Andy Travnicek, an airline pilot and former Air Force pilot.

FAA officials told local media the aircraft was taking off in formation with another aircraft when it crashed on the runway and caught fire. The airshow will go on as scheduled and the Skytypers said they were planning to fly.

Russ Niles
Russ Niles is Editor-in-Chief of AVweb. He has been a pilot for 30 years and joined AVweb 22 years ago. He and his wife Marni live in southern British Columbia where they also operate a small winery.

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  1. RIP to the pilot and sorry to hear of this tragedy. I can’t quite believe the show will go on?!? So none if the other teammates of this squad are not mourning the loss of their teammate? Talk about ignoring IMSAFE? I may be totally off here but it feels like corporate pressure with the show-must-go-on: we’re talking about postponing an air show, not scrubbing a critical space mission. And bs about ‘Andy would’ve wanted us to fly’ is just rationalization. Just take a break, a week or two to recompose, mourn the death of a friend and colleague and also, make sure the cause is not present in the other aircraft the team are flying.

    • I don’t know the disposition of the rest of the team, but for myself, I don’t care to be told how I should feel about things.

  2. Highly unlikely the crash, whatever the cause, translates directly to the remaining fleet aircraft, or to the operational behavior of their pilots. I would say this makes the decision on handling the death a personal one for the group itself, not something for outsiders to dictate or critique. There is no universal set of rules for handling death of a comrade.

  3. The SHOW was NOT cancelled, this team was just a part of a much larger event. Our local news reported that the SkyTypers did NOT fly the day after the crash.. By the second day, it was old news and there was no mention of the airshow, but Henri was passing through just to the east, so…