A Geico Skytypers pilot was killed last Wednesday in an accident shortly after takeoff from Republic Airport in Farmingdale, New York, according to the Skytypers team and local news outlets.
A New York Post article described witnesses seeing the North American SNJ-2 spinning and diving toward the ground while part of a six-airplane formation. Before the crash, five of the Skytypers had gotten airborne while a sixth had engine problems and was still taxiing.
The Geico Skytypers released a statement about the accident, identifying Ken Johansen as the pilot who was killed. Johansen was a commander in the U.S. Navy and a commercial airline pilot in addition to his role on the Skytypers team. No other injuries or deaths occurred on the ground.
SoMdNews reported that the Skytypers were scheduled to perform at Pax River Air Expo at Naval Air Station Patuxent River in Maryland over the weekend, but canceled their appearance in the wake of the crash.
The team’s immediate scheduled shows have been canceled, and the status of an upcoming performance in the Ocean City Air Show in Maryland later this month is still uncertain, according to delmarva now.
The statement said Johansen is survived by his wife and two children. The cause of the crash is under investigation.