The tragic accident at Travis AFB today took the life of a great air show performer and one that the community will miss greatly. Although he was not active on the national air show circuit per his posted schedule, I assume everyone in the community knew of his years of service as an air show performer.
These accidents hit close to home for me for several reasons – One is I love Air Shows and have enjoyed them since I was kid. The second is our involvement with a company Whelen Engineering Company, Inc. that supports Air Show performers like Mike Goulian Airshows these past years. And three my dad was in the Air Force and to see these shows return with the military demo teams is something that makes me feel less bad about where my tax money is going.
Hopefully people understand or have time to talk to the men and women that put on these shows and perform in them, they are a special breed that love what they do and would not have it any other way.
This photo was taken yesterday and in my files will be marked as the last flight of the Super Stearman and Eddie Andreini… Capturing the stunt of cutting his last ribbon…..
TRAVIS AFB, Calif. — A pilot killed in a plane crash while performing in an air show at Travis Air Force Base in Fairfield Sunday afternoon has been identified as a 77-year-old Half Moon Bay man, Col. David Mott of Travis Air Force Base said.
"Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family of Mr. Eddie Andreini," Mott told reporters at a news conference at the military base Sunday evening.
"Mr. Andreini had been flying since he was 16 years old and performing in air shows for the last 25 years," he said.
The veteran pilot was performing an "acrobatic aerial maneuver" in his open-cockpit Stearman biplane around 2:05 p.m. during the Travis Air Force Base Thunder Over Solano air show when the plane crashed, according to Mott.
The colonel said the plane was upside down and "fairly close to the ground" when it crashed and burned.
Travis Air Force Base fire crews responded and pronounced Andreini dead at the scene.
The crash occurred far away from the tens of thousands of people in attendance at the air show, and no spectators were injured, according to base officials.