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AirShow-Crash 7thLd-Writethru 09-07

8. Virginia

Pilot dies in stunt plane

The pilot of a civilian World War II stunt plane died Friday after the plane crashed during a practice run just hours before an air show, officials said.

Jan Wildbergh, the flight leader with the Skytypers Air Show Team, died following the crash at the Oceana Naval Air Station, team sponsor GEICO insurance company said in a statement.

Larry Arken, deputy squadron commander of the nine-pilot, six-plane team, said earlier that the pilots had just finished rehearsing their routine at the Virginia Beach base and were coming in for a landing when the No. 6 plane, the last in the formation, crashed.

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Arken was flying first, so he did not see the plane go down. But he said he heard from witnesses that the plane flew into the ground while still under its own power, he told the Associated Press from Oceana when reached on his cell phone.

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