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Thu, Jan 17, 2013

Veteran Key West Air Show Performer Fatally Injured In Cozumel Accident

Fred Cabanas Was Said To Be Helping Shoot A Documentary Film In Mexico

The air show industry lost another one of its veterans when stunt pilot Fred Cabanas was fatally injured in an accident in Cozumel, Mexico. A second person aboard the plane, Mexican extreme sports program host Jorge Lopez, was also fatally injured in the accident which reportedly happened Tuesday, according to Keysnews.com.

The accident was initially reported on the Spanish-language website Terra México. The director of Cozumel's Civil Protection agency said that the two were engaged in filming a documentary to promote an air show when the accident occurred.

Cabanas flew a variety of aircraft in air shows, ranging from classic biplanes to a bright yellow Pitts Special, which he used to cut the ribbon to open the Navy's Key West Air Show in 2010. He was a native of the island city, and paid for his flying lessons washing airplanes at Key West International Airport beginning at the age of 16. According to his website, he had some 24,000 hours in his logbook. The 60-year-old performer had been flying aerobatics for more than 30 years, according to a report in the Miami Herald.

As an instructor in 1991, he was with a student when he spotted a MiG 23 flying towards the island that turned out to be being flown by a defecting Cuban military general.

Cabanas owned Cabanas Aeronautics Unlimited in Key West, offering sightseeing and aerobatic rides. He was reportedly not flying one of his own planes when the accident in Mexico occurred.

FMI: www.cabanasaerobatics.com

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