A pilot performing aerobatics died in a fiery crash in front of the crowd attending DeKalb-Peachtree Airport’s annual airshow on May 14.
Authorities said the pilot, identified as Greg Connell of Greg Connell Airshows, died in the accident. Connell was part of a pair of aerobatic planes performing near the conclusion of the annual “Good Neighbor Day” airshow program.
“He was on a pass,” Chris Encinas of Chamblee said as he and his family departed the show moments after witnessing the crash. “I saw his tail wiggle like he was a little out of control, and then black smoke.”
DeKalb police and firefighters cleared the crowd from the airport quickly after the crash.
Airport General Manager Mario Evans said the crash was the first in the history of the airshow, which is held annually at the DeKalb County-owned airport located on Clairmont Road near Brookhaven and Chamblee.
DeKalb Interim CEO Lee May called the crash “a tragedy” in a prepared statement released Saturday evening. “Our thoughts are prayers are with the family and friends of the pilot who lost his life,” May said in the statement.
The Federal Aviation Administration, National Transportation Safety Board and various local police and fire agencies joined the investigation of the crash.
Click here to see a video of the crash.
Here’s a video of the crash scene.
A video of Connell flying: