A stunt plane crash happened Friday afternoon in New York’s Hudson Valley as a pilot was practicing for the New York Air Show scheduled for this weekend. The pilot was killed after his “propeller-driven stunt plane crashed while he was practicing tricks,” say state police.
KXAN reports that Trooper Steven Nevel said the crash happened around 2 p.m. at Stewart International Airport in the Orange County town of New Windsor. The pilot was the only one inside the aircraft. At this point, his name hasn’t been released. According to the Federal Aviation Administration, the plane was a Giles G202 experimental aircraft, and was owned by stunt pilot, Andrew Wright, of Austin, Texas.
Photographer and editor for the website nycaviation.com, Benjamin Granucci, snapped photos of the crash as the stunt plane crash was unfolding. He explains that the plane had flown through many passes while performing aerobatics. Things took a tragic turn when the plane dived down, followed by a corkscrewing climb. Granucci didn’t detect anything wrong until he noticed the plane flying in an area that was prohibited by performers due to the safety of spectators. The photographer shares that “partway through the corkscrew he slowed down.”
Granucci said the plane then headed for the ground.
“After he was clear of that area, he sort of stopped and just started spinning to the ground.”
Granucci heard the stunt plane crash when a thud sounded off. He was unable to see anything since trees and hills obstructed his view of the scene. After looking at the photos he took, Granucci said it looked as if the tail section of the plane twisted off mid-flight.
According to Wright’s website, it reveals that he’s been flying competitively at air show in the lightweight carbon fiber G202 since 2001.
Andrew Wright was known for his performance of climbs, rolls, loops, and spirals in the small plane. It was white and had color-changing striped wings that left a trail of smoke. One of his distinctive tricks was flying straight up in the air until the engine stalled — with the plane then falling tail-first toward the ground. The engine would then take off again moments before it looked as if he was about to hit the ground.
The New York Air Show will reportedly go on as scheduled. ABC News reports that the National Transportation Board and New York State Police are investigating the stunt plane crash.
[Photo Credit: Commons Wikimedia]