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An Israeli lawyer flying a stunt plane at an air show in the United States crashed and died before a crowd of spectators, authorities said.
Eilon Krugman-Kadi, 58, of Gainesville, Florida, was taking the small military-style L-39 Albatross on a loop that he apparently was not able to pull out of, police said. The fiery crash Friday happened on the opening day of the weekend-long TICO Warbird Air Show.
Phyllis Lilienthal, a 76-year-old working as a volunteer photographer at the event, said he watched as the plane crashed into trees just west of the airport.
"I didn't know what to think. I was dumbfounded," Lilienthal said. "People were crying. Some people were shouting, 'It crashed, it crashed!' It just gives you a sick feeling."
Mac McEachern, a longtime flying partner of Krugman-Kadi, said his friend learned to fly some time ago in the IDF, but only recently received the acrobatic pilot's license enabling him to participate in the show. Krugman-Kadi had also recently bought the old airplane he was flying, McEachern said.
"He was a good pilot, an experienced pilot," McEachern said.
The air show was shut down for the remainder of the day, but it would continue Saturday, said a statement from the organizers.