Paraplegic Show Pilot Dies After Crash


Dan Buchanan, a paraplegic hang glider pilot who performed at airshows all over the world for almost 30 years, died in a crash at an Idaho show on Saturday. Buchanan was doing his routine, which usually included aerobatics and pyrotechnics, at the Gunfighter Skies airshow at Mountain Home Air Force Base. Witnesses said Buchanan had just finished a routine involving another aircraft when the accident occurred about 1:30 p.m. local time. First responders were at the scene in moments and he was taken to the hospital, where he died.

Buchanan lost the use of his legs in a hang gliding accident in 1981 but was back flying six months later. He also earned a sailplane license and had more than 3,000 hours of powerless flight. He became a licensed pyrotechnician and designed routines using various types of fireworks in day and night shows. He won numerous airshow awards including the Art Scholl Award for Showmanship, the Bill Barber Award for Showmanship and ICAS Special Achievement Award.