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Pilot dead after plane crashes during performance at Alberta air show

Transportation Safety Board investigating incident
By The Canadian Press
A Nanchang CJ-6 plane is taxing for take off during an airshow. Roberto Galan /

SMITH, Alta. (CP) — One person is dead after a Chinese-built military training aircraft crashed while performing acrobatic manoeuvres during a fair and rodeo in northern Alberta.

RCMP say two small planes were performing for the Smith Fall Fair on Saturday when one of the planes disappeared.

It was found an hour later east of Smith, which is a hamlet 180 kilometres north of Edmonton.

Police said there was only one occupant in the plane at the time of the crash, and that person was pronounced dead at the scene.

They said they would not be identifying the deceased.

Transportation Safety Board spokesman Alex Fournier said the plane was a Nanchang CJ-6, which is a propeller-driven training aircraft built in China.

Fournier said two TSB investigators were being sent to the site and would arrive Sunday.

An online poster for the fair lists the Barry Pendrak Airshow among Saturday's attractions.

Reached by phone on Saturday evening, Barry Pendrak said he wouldn't be answering questions about the crash, but said the show was Transport Canada approved.

The show's Facebook account says the show is based in Smith.

J.D. Dennis, vice president of the Smith-Hondo Agricultural Society, said that one pilot went down and did not survive the crash.

Dennis said he was a local resident.

He said Barry Pendrak Airshows have performed at the fair before and ``it's always been great.''

Police have asked anyone who may have been recording video of the air show to contact them.

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