Chinese authorities said Saturday that a pilot died after an air force jet nose-dived and crashed at an air show.
Footage aired by China Central Television showed the jet sputtering and then plunging into a field Friday outside the northern city of Xi’an as one of the pilots ejected from the cockpit and landed beneath an open parachute.
Only one parachute was seen opening, and the plane, a two-seater JH-7 “Flying Leopard” fighter-bomber, burst into flames upon crashing. The other pilot’s seat appeared not to have ejected.
Jin Qiansheng, an official with the Yanliang National Aviation Hi-tech Industrial Base, announced the pilot’s death at the airshow on Saturday before a minute of silence was observed, the official Xinhua News Agency said.
The pilot who ejected suffered only minor injuries, but his comrade appeared to have been trapped in the doomed plane, earlier Xinhua reports said, citing witnesses and air show organizer He Liang.
Footage from the crash can be seen from Youtube: