UPDATED: Aerobatic Pilot Dies in Plane Crash
We often hear the mainstream media refer to air show pilots as dangerous stunt pilots without also mentioning the tremendous training each one dedicates to his/her craft.
Here is a different perspective and more on Army Veteran Steve O'Berg.
Official statement from the Cameron Air Show:
At approximately 1:50 Saturday there was an accident during a routine aerial performance. On behalf of the Cameron Airshow, we’d like to emphasis our thoughts and prayers are with the family and the pilot that was involved in the accident.
The FAA is onsite and the NTSB has been notified. We are working with them to determine the exact cause of the accident. The Clinton County Sheriff’s department is handling the investigation with the assistance of the Cameron police department and the Missouri State Highway Patrol. The only person injured in this accident was the pilot. Emergency crew and equipment were on site prior to the accident. The pilot was transported to the Cameron Hospital. We will update you with the pilot’s condition as soon as we have the official word from the hospital and we have consulted with the family.
At no time were the spectators at risk, as the pilot was performing in the designated performance area.
The remainder of the day show was canceled. The FAA was consulted and determined the concert and evening aerial performance by Team Aeroshell will go on as originally scheduled. Tomorrow’s performances will also occur at the regularly scheduled times.
Again, our emphasis is on supporting the family and responding to their needs. The safety of the performers and the crowd is of utmost importance.
ANN Opinion Piece by Jim Campbell
The Pitts was not doing 'stunts' -- the aircraft and its pilot were doing carefully planned, rehearsed, and approved precision aerobatic maneuvers.
The pilot was a professional who received extensive scrutiny from his peers, ICAS (via its ACE program) and the FAA. The airplane did not do 'dives and flips' -- it did a series of planned precision aerobatic maneuvers according to an approved airshow sequence that was practiced again and again before being performed at an actual airshow.
This was a good pilot, a professional/qualified airshow pilot, that had a tragic accident, and deserved the respect of a journalist -- at least someone doing more than 30 seconds worth of research, in accurately relating the tale of a horrible tragedy.
If you're not up to checking the facts and respectfully detailing what's known at this time, then please pass the story off to someone who will ask the right questions, learn the proper details, and will respect the passing of a man who tried to share his love for aviation with the public.
The 46 year-old Spearfish native has been flying since 1983 when he entered the U.S. Army. While in the military, he flew both helicopters and airplanes and today his Federal Aviation Administration licenses include everything from small single engine planes to passenger jets.