Aerobatics Preceded Jeff Pino Crash

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The airspeed indicator in the P-51D flown by former Sikorsky president Jeff Pino was frozen at 530 knots when investigators examined the wreckage from the crash that killed Pino and his friend Nicholas Tramontano near Maricopa, Arizona, in February of 2016. The full narrative report from the National Transportation Safety Board said the aircraft hit the ground vertically and part of it was underground. Witnesses reported the aircraft performing aerobatics before the crash. “One witness described the maneuver as a ‘regular loop,’" the report says. “The witness stated that, during the last half of the maneuver, the airplane never pulled up.”

Pino, 61 at the time of the crash, was on a special-issuance medical for his history of cardiac problems that included atrial fibrillation and a stroke but recent medical tests were normal and he had a current medical. Pino, who led Sikorsky from 2006 to 2012, briefly worked for an aircraft management company before joining XTI Aircraft, designer of a ducted-fan VTOL business aircraft called the Tri-Fan 600. Tramontano, 72, was a vintage aircraft collector who had a residence in Arizona but worked mainly from Waterbury-Oxford Airport in Connecticut, where he was known as the “Mayor of Oxford Airport.”

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