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Stunt Pilot Killed When Biplane Bursts Into Flames in Tragic Air Show Crash


Stunt Pilot Killed When Biplane Bursts Into Flames in Tragic Air Show Crash (Facebook/CBS Newspath)

Attendees at a Georgia airshow watched in horror as a stunt pilot crashed in a fiery wreck Saturday afternoon.

South Carolina native Greg Connell was engaged in a stunt maneuver when he was unable to pull out of a dive and his plane crashed, according to reports.

The tragedy occurred in front of spectators at Peachtree-DeKalb Airport during their annual Good Neighbor Day Airshow.

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As a Dekalb County fire crew put out a wall of flames at the site of the crash, an announcer told attendees the show was over.

According to his website, Greg Connell Airshows, Connell began his flight training in 1989. 

His site also names "his good friend, Gary Ward (as) his aerobatic instructor."

Ward was performing alongside Connell at Saturday's show. He told WSB-TV he didn't see the crash at the time, however.

"Greg flew underneath me and I had no idea Greg crashed like a second later. So I pulled off and the plan we had," Ward said, "I came back in the show for the next maneuver. We did individual maneuvers at that point, and I went ahead and did my next maneuver, not knowing that Greg had crashed."

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Airport officials said this is the first crash they've had in 30 years of airshows.

The FAA and National Transportation Safety Board have been called to investigate the cause of the crash.

The flags at Peachtree-DeKalb Airport were lowered to half mast in honor of Connell and the county's interim CEO, Lee May, released the following statement:

"A tragedy occurred as Prof. Pilots entertained & educated thousands today. Our thoughts & prayers are with the family & friends of the pilot."

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