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Public Safety

Biplane Crashes At Northern California Air Show

FAIRFIELD, Calif. — Authorities say a vintage biplane has crashed while performing at a Northern California air show, killing the pilot.

Lynn Lunsford of the Federal Aviation Administration said Sunday that the plane was a Stearman biplane. The plane was part of the Thunder Over Solano airshow at Travis Air Force Base in Solano County.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports that the 1944 biplane crashed in an open field away from spectators at 2:05 p.m. Black smoke rose from the wreckage as crowds were evacuated from the base.

Lunsford says emergency responders said the pilot did not survive. An Air Force statement identified the pilot as 77-year-old Eddie Andreini of Half Moon Bay.

No spectators were injured in the crash that happened as the pilot performed an acrobatic aerial maneuver over the tarmac, said Sgt. Rachel Martinez, a spokeswoman for the base.

Air show organizers cancelled the air show shortly after the crash on the tarmac. Martinez said organizers estimated that 100,000 people attended the air show Sunday.

Angie Giles, a spectator from Antioch, said the plane "flipped over to do a trick and hit the ground and dragged over the ground."

The National Transportation Safety Board will head up an investigation. Lunsford added that the FAA was already on site and will be a member of the team.