The annual Miramar
airshow is normally a thrilling and positive spectacle that shows
the world the value and excitement inherent in aviation. Friday, it
also showed that with such wonderment, comes some occasional
The Friday show, underway since 0930, was interrupted when
airshow pilot Sean deRosier (pictured, right) was seen coming out
of a "looping maneuver" and impacting the ground. Airshow emergency
staff was on the scene rapidly, airlifting deRosier, (31) of Nut
Tree, CA, with a Yuma Search and Rescue helo to nearby Scripps
Tragically, deRosier was reported DOA at the hospital. Worse, it
is reported the deRosier's parents witnessed the crash.
A statement released by his parents, said that "He was a great
son, a great pilot. He loved airplanes and he loved to fly. We will
miss him deeply."
The show, expecting to draw some 700,000 people, went on some
hours later, with a moment of silence dedicated to Sean's memory.
Brig. Gen. Carl B. Jensen, commanding general of western Marine air
bases, noted that, "Sean, in any event, would have wanted to
continue this air show and that is what we're going to do. That's
what professionals do." [ANN Note: Well said, Sir... well
said. -- Jim Campbell, ANN E-I-C]
deRosier was flying a modified One Design, nicknamed the Cabo
Wabo Skyrocket, which he and his Father constructed from plans.
Powered by a modified Lycoming of 210 HP, the 900 lb single seater
won a 1999 Outstanding Workmanship Award for a plans-built airplane
at Oshkosh '99.
The accident reportedly occurred at 1015. The aircraft impacted
between runways and appeared to have been recovering from a loop or
some other vertical transition when impact took place. "I thought
it was going to come down and do a low fly-by... It was pretty
close to the deck. Then it went behind some tents. I heard a thud
and then I saw it skidding past." said USMC Lance Cpl. Casey Roach.
Cpl. Roach added that he saw no explosion, "just a lot of
The crash is under active investigation. Media reports quoting
Maj. Curtis Hill, public affairs director for MCAS Miramar report
that officials are asking the public for "video footage or
photographs" of the flight in order to augment the
ANN sends its prayers and support to the family and friends of
this exceptional aviator. DeRosier is survived by his parents, a
girlfriend, and two stepchildren.
It is the second fatal airshow crash, during an active airshow,
within a month -- occurring after several years of exceptional
safety for the industry. More information to follow...