A world-renowned Hungarian stunt pilot has died after crashing in the middle of a performance at the Al Khor air strip this evening, organizers of the show confirm.
Captain Tamas Nadas, who has won numerous awards in aerial acrobatics competitions, was flying his plane upside down as part of the show at the Qatar Mile event this weekend when he apparently lost control of the aircraft.
On its Facebook page, Qatar Mile announced his passing, saying it would also be canceling tomorrow’s events:
“On behalf of Qatar Racing Club we would like to inform you that qatarmile will not take place tomorrow as scheduled. This is in respect to the courageous pilot Tamas Nadas who unfortunately lost his life today in the airshow doing what he loved.
We would like to express our deepest condolences and our prayers are with his family and friends, may his soul rest in peace.”
Earlier the Ministry of Interior had said emergency responders were on the scene:
سقوط طائرة شراعية استعراضية صغيرة أثناء استعراضها في مطار الخور يقودها طيّار اوربي الجنسية والجهات المختصة باشرت اجراءاتها في الموقع
— وزارة الداخلية – قطر (@MOI_Qatar) March 7, 2014
Here’s the moment before the crash:
— Rabia (@RabiaZaman) March 7, 2014
A video of the plane going down has been posted on Youtube (warning: foul language used), captured by one onlooker. It shows how quickly the scene went from under control to tragic.
James Jago, a British expatriate who was watching this evening, said the plane seemed to have gotten too close to the ground during the stunt:
“The plane rolled upside down and was flying along the runway, then as the plane reached the end of the runway (still flying upside down) it tried to pull up but got too close to the ground and the back rudder of the plane touched the ground, which brought the whole plane down on it’s roof.
It slid along the runway with small pieces of the plane flying off and then it came off the runway and onto the sand, where it finally came to a stop. Then all the emergency vehicles raced over.”
Does anyone know more?