Two Argentinian pilots died on Sunday after their fighter jet planes crashed and burst into flames during an airshow display. According to local Spanish media outlets, the military training jet had been performing at an airshow in Villa Canas, Santa Fe province, Argentina, before the tragic accident. Both pilots, identified as Gaston Vanucci and Nicolas Skares, died before rescuers could reach the plane. Both had experience in aerobatics. They performed a very low-level pass of the crowd just moments before the horror crash.
Video footage of the performance shows the aircraft making a pass over the runway as it thrilled audience members. However, moments later, the jet hurtles down toward the ground and bursts into flames as it smashes into a field just meters away from a busy road.
According to reports, the aircraft was a Soviet-era L29 Dolphin military training jet. Villa Canas Fire Chief Horacio Pereyra said that the plane “crashed a few meters from where the public was witnessing the spectacle”.
“The plane made a low flight over the post and when it was leaving, while making a turn, it landed on its end. Two people were aboard the plane, which is a combat aircraft. It is a Russian plane with a pilot and a passenger in the back,” officials at the air club hosting the display said.
“We are all moved by the event and stunned because everyone who was at the event was surprised to see how the plane fell,” Villa Canas mayor Norberto Gizzi stated.
The aero club also paid tribute to the two pilots in an Instagram post. They shared a video of them flying in the Aero L-29 jet. “Aeroclub Venado Tuerto sadly says goodbye to Gaston (Vanucci) and Nico (Skare). Today is a special day. Today we say goodbye to the friend, the brother, the son. ‘Use your wings to fly wherever you want Gaston!'” they wrote in the caption.
Notably, according to local media reports, the L-29 jet was one of the main attractions of the air festival promoted by its organizers. This model is a military training aircraft designed in the 60s, in the middle of the Cold War.