Florida A small jet performing a loop at an air show crashed Friday and burst into flames in front of horrified spectators, including the pilot's family.
Eilon Krugman-Kadi, a former Israeli fighter pilot and Gainesville, Fla., lawyer, died when the plane slammed into woods just west of Space Coast Regional Airport in Titusville, police said.
"It was overwhelming," said Tony Quinonez of Orlando, who was watching the Tico Warbird Airshow when the L-39 Albatross, a small jet plane used as a trainer, went down.
"You could hear people crying, and some parents immediately walked off with their kids," Quinonez said.
Others sat in stunned silence.
Witnesses said Krugman-Kadi, the second pilot to perform during the annual three-day event, completed the first loop, disappeared into the clouds and then came out of the last loop too low to the ground.
"You could see he tried to pull out of it, but you knew right away it was too late," Quinonez said. "Then there was a huge explosion."