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Sat, Jan 25, 2020

Guatemalan Airshow Practice Session Results in Loss of Pilot and 2 Spectators

Three Dead, and Unknown Number Injured

Details are still pouring in at this late hour, but according to multiple Guatemalan press sources, a Redbull aerobatic aircraft has been involved in a fatal accident. Two Redbull performers were billed to perform at an airshow conducted by the Aeroclub of Iztapa, Escuintla.

Both Kirby Chambliss and Steve Andelin were on the roster to fly at the show, but Chambliss's Facebook page reports that he was alive and well and was not the pilot involved in the accident. Several videos (see the attached screengrabs) show the aerobatic monoplane conducting some aerobatic maneuvers as one terminates too low and collides with the ground, nearly level and the aircraft ultimately winds up off site and in a nearby body of water in a highly fragmented condition.

The General Directorate of Civil Aeronautics (DGAC) noted, via Twitter, that the accident occurred at approximately 1700 local time. Andelin was flying a Zivko Edge 540T, N540ZA.

Tragically, as confirmed by Guatemalan media reports, two spectators were struck in the accident and killed. Video of the aftermath show two persons on the ground and well within an area that would otherwise have been cordoned off in the USA.

Andelin was conducting a practice flight before the weekend's Aeroclub of Guatemala, 'Show Iztapa LXV Anniversary.”

Team Chambliss filed a brief statement late yesterday, stating only that, "An accident occurred during this afternoon’s practice session in Iztapa, Guatemala, ahead of the airshow scheduled for this weekend. Kirby is okay and safe. The airshow has been canceled. We are unable to release any further details at this time.”

The Aeroclub also posted to Facebook a short time ago, that FB translated as... "The Aeroclub of Guatemala with a lot of regret and pain, regrets to inform that today in hours of the afternoon, an accident happened that whole our community. We expose our most sincere condolences and reiterate our pain to all those affected. As an association we are already collaborating with the respective authorities who are starting the research that the law points out, giving our absolute attention to their indications and requirements of assistance. For the reasons indicated, the anniversary event - air show scheduled in the facilities of the aeroclub of Guatemala for January 25, 2020 is cancelled."

FMI: www.facebook.com/pg/kirbychambliss/posts/, https://www.facebook.com/aeroclubguatemala/

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