Man killed at California air show ID'd as veteran stunt pilot who had been flying for 60 years

Eddie Andreini, the pilot killed in a show at Travis Air Force Base, had been doing stunt work for half a century.
By Frances Burns   |   May 5, 2014 at 12:16 PM   |   Comments

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FAIRFIELD, Calif., May 5 (UPI) -- The man killed in an air show at Travis Air Force Base in California has been identified as a veteran stunt pilot who had been flying for 60 years.

Eddie Andreini, 77, died Sunday afternoon. Col. David Mott said he was performing a maneuver, "cutting the ribbon," with his Stearman Biplane. Mott said the plane had a knife attached to its nose and Andreini was trying to cut a ribbon close to the ground.

Andreini was flying upside down at the time of the crash and was some distance from the audience. The rest of the "Thunder Over Solano" show was canceled and thousands of spectators evacuated from the base in Fairfield.

The website for Eddie Andreini Airshows in Half Moon Bay, Calif., promises his Stearman Superbatics is a performance beginning "with a double roll that grabs the audience's attention and then holds them spell-bound."

Andreini began flying as a 16-year-old high school student. He told the Half Moon Bay Review in an interview that he took up stunt flying in 1960 after meeting a crop-dusting pilot.

The Stearman was a World War II trainer Andreini had been flying since the 1960s.

Andreini died a week after a fatal crash over San Francisco Bay. Two vintage planes returning from a show in Half Moon Bay, sending a 1965 Cessna plunging into the water. The second plane landed safely.

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