Tragic Martinsburg Air Show Crash

9/17/11 -- The tragic crash of a T-28 military training aircraft at Martinburg, West Virginia's Thunder over the Blue Ridge air show. The pilot, John Mangan, died at the scene. Mangan's death came a day after an air race crash in Reno killed nine people, including the pilot of a vintage World War II P-51 Mustang fighter plane. Mangan, a decorated retired Air Force pilot, was performing with the T-28 Warbird Aerobatic Formation Demonstration Team when he and another pilot began a maneuver in which both planes fly directly at each other at 300 feet above ground, ascend and then roll their aircraft, Knudson said. Mangan began his climb at approximately 275 mph but did not complete his roll. Knudson said the investigation was challenging because of the damage to aircraft from the fiery crash. A preliminary report is expected with 10 days, he said. Friends and family described Mangan, 54, as successful businessman and a passionate pilot who stressed safety.

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