ESCUINTLA, GUATEMALA – An American Red Bull aerobatic plane has crashed on Friday in southern Guatemala killing 3 people – pilot Steven Andelin and 2 spectators, official sources said. The plane hit the ground very hard, after the pilot performed an aerobatic maneuver and came out of the maneuver too low. Steven Andelin was conducting a practice flight before Saturday’s Iztapa Airshow, a private airshow at Aeroclub Iztapa in Escuintla, about 68 miles (110 km) south of Guatemala City.
The aerobatic plane – a Zivko Edge 540T with registration N540ZA – was piloted by Steve Andelin from Team Chambliss, an American aerobatic team sponsored by Red Bull and named after Team Leader Kirby Chambliss -American world champion aerobatic and air race pilot who raced in the Red Bull Air Race World Series.
The team traveled with 2 aircraft to Aeroclub Iztapa with Team Leader Kirby Chambliss and Steven Andelin, who was flying the plane that crashed. Both pilots were scheduled to fly in the Izpata Airshow on Saturday.
Several videos on the internet show the plane conducting some aerobatic maneuvers, when one maneuver ends up too low, resulting in the plane colliding with the ground and immediately going up again to eventually wind up in a nearby water channel.
The accident occured on Friday afternoon at about 5:00 PM local time.
A witness recorded the next video, showing the exact moment when the airplane hits the ground after the deadly maneuver:
☆ (WARNING: This link will direct you to a video which contains graphic content that may be upsetting to some people)
The Izpata Airshow on Saturday was canceled Friday evening, shortly after the crash.
On Friday evening Team Chambliss posted a brief statement on Facebook, saying Kirby is alright:
On Saturday the team posted a second statement, confirming team member and friend Steven Andelin’s death: