Team was scheduled to perform Saturday at the Great Pocono Raceway Airshow.
By Meg Scarbrough
August 20, 2021
A Geico Skytypers pilot was killed in a crash shortly after takeoff Friday at an airport in eastern Pennsylvania.
The pilot, identified as Andy Travnicek, was the only person on board, according to Jacob Schmitt, a supervisor at Luzerne County 911. No injuries were reported on the ground.
Travnicek’s T-6 Texan plane was part of the Skytypers team scheduled to perform Saturday at the Great Pocono Raceway Airshow, according to the Associated Press.
The plane was heading northbound at the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport around 12:35 p.m. when it suddenly veered to the left “for reasons unknown,” crashed into the grass, and caught fire, airport director Carl Beardsley told the AP.
The cause of the crash is under investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board.
A statement posted Friday evening on the Skytypers’ website said: “The team is working with local law enforcement, the Federal Aviation Administration, and the National Transportation Safety Board. Our thoughts and prayers are with Andy and his family at this time.”
The organization said Travnicek was a graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy, served in the U.S. Armed Forces, and was also a commercial airline pilot.
It is the second fatal crash involving the team in recent years. In 2018, Ken Johansen died in an accident shortly after takeoff from Republic Airport in Farmingdale, New York.
Story credit: Flying Magazine; https://www.flyingmag.com/story/news/geico-skytypers-pilot-killed-in-pennsylvania-crash/