Pilot Bryan Jensen and his plane. (www.beastairshows.com)
Stunt and Delta jetliner pilot Bryan Jensen died today at the Kansas City Air Show when something went wrong during his routine. Because of where his plane landed--on the airfield between runways--the remainder of the show was canceled. However, plans are for the show to go on tomorrow.
That is the right thing to do.
Flying for humankind is an unnatural thing. The force exerted by earth's mass on objects near the planet's surface is a strong one. Gravity keeps us ground bound and only force and physics with a dollop of human skill enables us to get off the ground for even a brief time. Stuff goes wrong and when it does, it is usually a very bad thing.
Mr. Jensen clearly loved to fly. He started at 13, and by 16, when most of us were just happy to be able to drive cars, he had flown three different kinds of aircraft. At this time in his life, Mr. Jensen was flying 747s for pay after starting in commercial aviation at age 23 and has been doing aerobatics for 15 years.
The last thing this man would wish is that the air show fold up its tent for the year. He would want the celebration of humankind's ability to escape gravity for just a moment to continue.
Deepest condolences to Mr. Jensen's family and close friends who are no doubt stunned at his sudden death.
And may tomorrow dawn clear, crisp and calm--a perfect day for flying.
News link: KSHB...