Aerobatic pilot Fred Cabañas and Mexican television reporter Jorge Lopez Vives died when Cabañas’ airplane crashed on Tuesday afternoon. The crash happened at the Caribbean island of Cozumel while Cabañas and Vives were working on footage for a Mexican TV network program whose title translates as “Extreme Adrenaline,” the Associated Press reported.
Cabañas, who had previously participated in various movies and TV programs, was a highly experienced pilot with more than 24,000 hours in a wide variety of airplanes, including the Pitts Special S-2C, Hawker Sea Fury, Waco and North American T-28, T-6 and P-51 Mustang. Cabañas has also raced in the unlimited class at the Reno Air Races, where he became Rookie of the Year in 2005, and has performed in a long list of domestic and international airshows.
In addition to several pilot ratings, Cabañas was an Aerobatic Competency Evaluator for ICAS, an EAA Warbird Evaluator and a licensed airframe and powerplant mechanic. He is survived by his wife, Susan, daughter, Kelly, and son Raymond.