Air show pilot Eddie Andreini killed

Air show pilot Eddie Andreini was killed May 4 during his performance at the Thunder over Solano Airshow at Travis Air Force Base in Solano County, Calif.

The accident happened at 2:05 p.m. during the finale as Andreini attempted to do a low-altitude inverted ribbon cut in his Super Steaman.

Video shot by a spectator shows Andreini rolling inverted as he approaches the ribbon. In the show commentary the airshow announcer notes that Andreini appeared to have rolled inverted a little early for the maneuver and cries out a warning just before the 1944 Stearman flies into the ground in front of tens of thousands of people.

Stearman3Ground support crews rushed to the airplane, which was pouring white  smoke before it burst into flames. Investigators say Andreini died at the scene.

Base officials terminated the air show after the crash and instructed people to leave the grounds. A plea was sent out for everyone who had videos or pictures of the accident to supply them to investigators to aid in the crash investigation.

During a post-accident press conference, the base commander noted that the winds were blowing at 10 to 15 knots at the time of the accident, but it is not known if the weather conditions played a role in the crash.

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the accident.

Andreini, 77, had been flying since he was 16 years old. He was the owner of Eddie Andreini Air Shows out of Half Moon Bay, Calif. In 2004 the International Council of Air Shows gave him the Sword of Excellence Award, the highest honor an air show pilot can receive. Last year Andreini was inducted into the ICAS Hall of Fame.


  1. Alex says

    Tragic news.
    I have been watching Eddie ( affectionately called) for years . He opened up the Watsonville airshow in central California in ’64, and has flown EACH and every airshow there since it opened. What a loss. He was always putting on great shows, and was well respected and a great act to watch .
    He will definitely be missed his legions of airshow fans who have watched him perform.
    R.I P Eddie~~ Thanks for all the wonderful shows~

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