Plane Crash Attributed to Pilot Error

It took more than two years to complete, but the National Transportation Safety Board has determined the cause of a deadly crash at a Tyndall Air Force Base air show in March of 2003.

Fifty-four-year-old veteran stunt pilot Chris Smisson was killed during a stunt where he was supposed to race his Russian built prop plane against a jet power truck. Thousands were watching.

The truck was late starting the race, so Smission went into a loop with his airplane, starting at only 50 feet in the air.

At the top of the 300-foot high loop, the plane stalled and then crashed in the grass adjacent to the Tyndall runway. Smission was killed instantly.

The NTSB issued its report Friday saying the probable cause is pilot error. It says Smission’s attempted abrupt maneuver at such a low altitude resulted in a loss of control.