Local pilot Eddie Andreini pictured with his airplanes at the Half Moon Bay airport in Moss Beach. / Half Moon Bay Review
A vintage civilian airplane crashed onto the tarmac at Travis Air Force Base in California while performing low-altitude aerial acrobatics during an air show Sunday, killing its pilot, officials said.
Air Force base officials identified the dead pilot as Eddie Andreini, 77, of Half Moon Bay, Calif.
He was performing an acrobatic aerial maneuver at the "Thunder over Solano'' Air Expo when his PT-17 Stearman biplane aircraft crashed at approximately 2:05 p.m.
The base posted online that an air show at the base "has been cancelled due to the aircraft crash of an aerial performer.''
Lynn Lunsford of the Federal Aviation Administration said the plane was a Stearman biplane. Lunsford says emergency responders said the pilot did not survive.
The 1944 plane was registered to the Eddie Andreini Air Shows, Inc., of Half Moon Bay, Calif.
The owner's website described the plane as a restored one-of-a-kind "Super Stearman" powered by a supercharged 450 hp Prall & Whitney radial engine.
It said the plane "has an inverted fuel and oil system, allowing it to perform unnatural maneuvers,'' and features "a unique two-place canopy designed and built by Eddie himself.'' It adds: "The modifications to this plane are too numerous to mention.''
His website said Andreini had flown 950 aerial performances since 1964. It said aerial acrobatics he performs in the plane include "double outside loops, triple snap rolls, square loops and torque rolls'' as well as "original high-energy maneuvers."
No one answered phone calls to Andreini's business headquarters Sunday evening.
Sgt. Rachel Martinez, a spokeswoman for the base, said no one on the ground was injured.
The National Transportation Safety Board will investigate the crash, Lunford said.
KTVU-TV reported that the biplane was flying upside down and close to the ground executing a maneuver when it crashed at the air base in Solano County.
The air base posted on its Facebook page that guests were instructed to exit the base following the crash. It requested that anyone attending who had photos or video of the crash to provide them to investigators.
Contributing: Associated Press
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