German helicopter pilot killed in stunt performance

German helicopter pilot killed in stunt performance
Photo: DPA
A German helicopter crashed Sunday outside the Belarusian capital Minsk during an aerobatics show, killing its pilot, a spokesman for the emergency situations ministry said.

The pilot, Gunter Zimmer, 74, was making “death loops” in his MD 500 helicopter when it crashed and burst into flames at the Borovaya airfield, which was hosting a Commonwealth of Independent States sport helicopter competition.

According to authorities in Minsk the aircraft went down just a few hundred metres from the crowd of spectators right after the competition began. The crowd reportedly fled the competition grounds in a panic.

The cause of the crash was not immediately known, but experts said they could not rule out that the experienced pilot from Dinslaken, North Rhine-Westphalia may have made a mistake or suffered from a health problem that lead to the accident.

Zimmer had been a long-time member of the ODM German national helicopter pilot’s team.

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