Weekend marred by recreation-related deaths across U.S.


Response time eyed in crash at California air show

FAIRFIELD, Calif. — Investigators trying to determine what caused the crash of a vintage airplane during a stunt at an air show said Monday that they will start by examining the wreckage and ground scars.

The accident killed pilot Edward Andreini, 77, of Half Moon Bay, one of several recreation-related deaths over the weekend across the U.S.

Howard Plagens of the National Transportation Safety Board said his team also will review the amount of time it took for emergency crews to respond to Andreini’s crash.

Travis Air Force Base spokesman Jim Spellman said crews were dispatched promptly and responded within a minute or two. A hotshot team from the base was among the responders, he said.

Andreini was trying to perform a maneuver known as “cutting a ribbon” where the inverted plane flies close to the ground so a knife attached to it can slice a ribbon, Col. David Mott of the base told the San Francisco Chronicle.

In other tragedies over the weekend:

— A Columbia, S.C., man died after his parachute malfunctioned during a jump in Chester County. Deputy Coroner Tommy Williams said Wolfgang Langehans, 65, died Sunday afternoon after he had jumped from a plane at 13,000 feet. Authorities were still investigating what happened to Langehans’ parachute.

— Jessica Dillon, 20, died Sunday after collapsing near the finish line of the Boulder Spring Half Marathon in Colorado. Autopsy results were pending.

— Stephen Canfield, 20, of Harvard, Ill., died early Sunday after falling off the back of a golf court. McHenry County sheriff’s officials said Canfield was riding on the back of a golf cart on a roadway in Hebron Township when he fell for unknown reasons.

— Authorities in Southeast Texas say Ross Lehmberg, 26, of San Antonio died after he jumped off the top deck of a party boat and hit the bottom deck before going into the water. Lehmberg was found dead just after midnight Saturday in Lake Conroe. An autopsy is pending.

— Maj. Gen. Robert Knauff, a retired fighter pilot and former commander of the New York Air National Guard, died Saturday afternoon in a glider crash in the Arizona desert northwest of Phoenix. Maricopa County sheriff’s officials said Knauff’s glider crashed in Aguila.

— Ron Russell was backcountry skiing Saturday morning outside Anaconda, Mont., when he was overtaken by an avalanche and killed. The Montana Standard reported that Russell was able to dig himself out and call for help, but he died of his injuries. He was skiing alone. Russell was a longtime math teacher at Anaconda High School.

 

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