Audio Of Rescue Calls During Andreini Airshow Crash Released


Audio of firefighter personnel and accompanying photos show a four-minute response time to airshow performer Eddie Andreini’s fatal crash at Travis Air Force Base in May, according to avideo (below)released by a lawyer for the pilot’s family. Mike Danko also alleged in an online statement Monday that Air Force officials were “confused” over where fire and rescue trucks could be stationed at the California base.Citing the Air Force Thunderbirds’ airshow manual, he said fire and rescue trucks should have been stationed closer to the performers. “They mistakenly believed regulations prohibited them from stationing fire trucks near show center. So instead, the Air Force positioned the fire trucks more than a mile and a half away,” Danko said. Andreini’s modified Stearman crashed inverted on a runway during a cut-the-ribbon attempt during the Thunder Over Solano Air Show. The pilot’s family is suing the Air Force, claiming slow response to the post-crash fire is to blame for his death.

The audio was released after Andreini’s family filed a Freedom of Information Act request and a subsequent lawsuit. It accompanies a video showing photos of the accident sequence that begins with an image of Andreini’s Stearman flying low and inverted down the runway. In the next photo, the airplane has crashed and flames are visible. A radio call reports the crash, with personnel acknowledging. The audio continues with repeated calls for trucks and replies on the status. The four-minute, 14-second point is marked with a caption on the video, showing a photo of a fire truck extinguishing the fire. Firefighting standards call for a maximum response time of three minutes, Danko said. “At air shows fire trucks need to get to crash sites even quicker – within 60 seconds or less,” he said. Danko also claimed that the rules about placing rescue trucks at show center were clarified by the FAA a week before the show, but no changes occurred.