Eddie Andreini, 77, died on Sunday afternoon as the result of a crash of his Stearman biplane during a performance at the "Thunder Over Solano" air show at Travis Air Force Base in California. But was a poor response ultimately to blame for his death?
Colonel David Mott of the 60th Operations Group at Travis AFB said Andreini was performing a stunt called "cutting a ribbon," in which he flew inverted and very close to the ground, when something went wrong. The video below shows Andreini performing the stunt successfully on Saturday.
Colonel Mott said winds were not likely a factor, as Saturday's winds were higher than Sunday, and called the weather uneventful. Andreini had been flying stunt shows for 25 years.
Photographer Roger Bockrath witnessed the event and said, "The plane was essentially intact, just wrong side down." Bockrath also said about two and a half minutes went by before someone showed up with a fire extinguisher, and it was five minutes before a fire truck arrived to extinguish the fire.
"He should be in the hospital with second-degree burns and smoke inhalation. Instead, he's at the coroner's office," Bockrath said. "It's shocking to me how long it took. I'm still rattled by it."
How does that look to you?
Here's Eddie doing what he did best, owning it in his Stearman. Godspeed, Eddie.
Top photo: Screen cap from Vimeo