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Aeroshow pilot dies in freefall crash

Cozumel, Q.R. – The Cozumel Aeroshow ended in tragedy yesterday when one of the planes crashed to the ground, killing the pilot.

The accident happened on Sunday around 1:40 p.m. during the annual event when the yellow Extra Model 300-L was preforming. Preliminary police reports say the airplane went down around 50 meters north of the airfield after about two minutes into flight.

Hundreds of spectators stood and watched as the plane was preparing a stunt when it began a freefall. Videos from witnesses show the small plane hitting the ground violently, but without exploding.  The pilot, 43-year-old Juan Miguel García Salas, died instantly. Rescue officials cordoned off the area of the accident where they found the plane standing vertical.

Eduardo Toledo Parra, owner of Promovisión the channel covering the event, said that “He was not the first nor the last pilot to die doing what he loves most.”

After the accident, the remainder of the show was cancelled.

In January of 2013, a Brazilian pilot also died during the Aeroshow when his aircraft crashed to the ground.

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