Airshow Plane Comes Apart, Pilot Killed

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An airshow pilot was killed during practice for the New York Air Show on Friday after the tail separated from the aircraft. The aircraft, a Giles 202 owned by airshow performer Andrew Wright, crashed in a wooded area. Reports did not immediately confirm the pilot was Wright, who has flown the Giles since 2001, according to his website, Carbon Fiber Airshows. Photos taken by a bystander show the tail separating from the aircraft as the pilot was in an ascending maneuver. The crash occurred about 2 p.m. near Stewart International Airport near New Windsor, about 60 miles north of New York City. Capt. Brendan Casey of the New York State Police, the incident commander for the airshow, said in a CNN report the pilot appeared to be climbing when the Giles went into a "steep dive." Casey said the show will go on as scheduled Saturday and Sunday. There were no other injuries.

The crash was the third associated with an airshow since last Saturday, when a Hawker Hunter jet warbird crashed into a freeway after failing to recover from a looping maneuver during the Shoreham Air Show. The next day a member of the Formation Grasshoppers, a three-ship Ikarus C24 team, died after his aircraft collided with another team member's. The other pilot parachuted to safety.