Structural Failure Kills Aerobatic Pilot

Andrew Wright/

A tragic accident happened on Friday as aerobatic pilot Andrew Wright was preparing for a performance at the New York Air Show at Stewart International Airport in Newburgh, New York. Based on footage taken from a photographer on the ground, it appears that the entire tail section of Wright's Giles G-202 airplane was torn off the fuselage, rendering the airplane uncontrollable.

Sadly, Wright was unable to eject and died when the airplane crashed into the ground on the border of a wooded area and a grassy field.

The New York Air Show proceeded as planned, but, according to a Facebook post by show organizers, Saturday's flight performance was dedicated to the lost airshow pilot.

The accident happened just days after Nigel Hopkins narrowly escaped death when his MX Aircraft MX2, which happens to be a follow-on to the G-202, also suffered a catastrophic structural failure in which the entire engine and part of one wing departed the airplane during a practice session in France. Fortunately that accident did not end in tragedy as Hopkins managed to extricate himself and safely reach to the ground under a parachute.

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Pia Bergqvist joined FLYING in December 2010. A passionate aviator, Pia started flying in 1999 and quickly obtained her single- and multi-engine commercial, instrument and instructor ratings. After a decade of working in general aviation, Pia has accumulated almost 3,000 hours of flight time in nearly 40 different types of aircraft.

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