Two pilots were killed yesterday after their plane crashed into the sea during an air show in the Dominican Republic. Carlos Manuel Guerrero and Rafael Sanchez, both Dominican military pilots, were taking part in the ‘Air Show of the Caribbean’ in the country’s capital Santo Domingo, on the coast. They lost charge of their small plane during stunt manoeuvres, leading the air force vessel to spin out of control. The plane crashed into the water in front of thousands of spectators gathered on the Santo Domingo waterfront. The spot where it slammed into the Caribbean was just 500 metres from the crowd.
After the plane hit the water, its wings crumpled and it sank within less than one minute. A military official said the area where they sank was ‘quite deep’, which lessened the pilots’ chances of survival. The wreckage of the Pillan plane, which was purchased from Chile in 1999, has not yet been found by authorities. This year’s edition of the Air Show of the Caribbean, featuring a mixture of Dominican air force pilots and international flying aces, was the fourth to be held. The remainder of the two-day festival was cancelled following the fatal accident yesterday afternoon.