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On Friday, September 7, a stunt plane crashed just hours before an air show. The pilot was practicing his stunts when the plane crashed; the pilot did not survive.

Jan Wildbergh, the flight leader with the Skytypers Air Show Team, died following the crash at the Oceana Naval Air Station.

The pilots in the show had just finished their routine and were landing when the last plane, No 6, crashed. A witness said that the plane flew into the ground while still under its own power. According to the team spokesman, the plane had no ejection system, and the plane was flying to low for him to try and escape with a parachute.

“He probably tried to continue to make the maneuver and save the plane, possibly by doing a belly flop,” team spokesman Ralph Roberts said. There will be an investigation into the crash of this plane.

The Skytypers Air Show Team performs at shows across the country, often doing low-level flying maneuvers and creating aerial smoke messages, called skytyping, according to its Web site. A computer in the lead plane sends radio signals to the others to coordinate puffs of smoke to form words while the planes fly about 250 feet apart.

For more information on this subject, please refer to our section on Airlines, Cruises, Buses, and Other Mass Transit Accidents.

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