NTSB: Air show crash attributed to pilot error

The cause of the crash that killed Guy “Doc” Baldwin, an aerobatic pilot, on Oct. 4, 2006 at the Tucumcari Air Show was “the pilot’s failure to maintain aircraft control,” according to a probable cause report from the National Transportation Safety Board.
That failure resulted in an accelerated stall, the report said. Other factors included the low altitude for recovery from the loop and the high density altitude, the report said.
Baldwin, 60, a physician, stunt pilot and aviation columnist from Tulsa, Okla., was flying a German Extra 300L and was one of the first acts at the 14th annual event attended by about 1,000 people.
A cameraman who recorded Baldwin’s flight said the pilot did not “start his pull until he was too low to recover,” and “When the plane passed overhead, the noise the air was making as it passed over sounded very interrupted or turbulent,” the NTSB report said.
The cameraman also said, “There was a definitive break in the wing flight, a dip or stall, as it passed by.”
An examination of Baldwin’s airplane, engine, and related systems revealed no anomalies, the report said.
The air show was canceled that day and, soon after, the crash raised questions about whether or not the air show should continue.
However, several of Baldwin’s friends from the aviation community said the show should continue and that Baldwin would have wanted the show to continue.
The air show’s organizers, the Rotary Club, will hold the 15th annual event on Sept. 19.