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German stunt pilot killed as plane plunges into Polish river

June 15, 2019

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — A German pilot of a small stunt plane was killed Saturday after his aircraft plunged into the Vistula River during a performance at an air show in central Poland, firefighters said.

Edward Mystera, a spokesman for firefighters in the town of Plock, said the pilot’s body had been recovered from the wreckage, which was 8 meters (26 feet) under the water.

The crash occurred shortly before 11 a.m. as the pilot apparently lost control of the aircraft during the VII Air Picnic in Plock, which features some 40 pilots. The show was shut down after the crash and police and prosecutors are investigating the cause of the accident.

Authorities did not name the pilot, but he was a German citizen and a former Lufthansa pilot with long experience, according to Wojciech Bogdal of the Mazovia Aeroclub, which organized the event.

The plane was a Soviet-made Yak-52, a two-seater training plane built in 1980s and registered in Poland, Bogdal said.

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