Mark Sampason, one of the pilots from Saturday’s airshow at Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) Museum, crashed and perished on Tuesday, May 31, in Harare Zimbabwe.
The pilot reportedly passed away while performing a stunt near Charles Prince airfield. He was a crew member of the Marksmen Aerobatic Team and was identified as Number-4. The team was returning from a roundabout trip from Cape Town to Nairobi, where they had successfully performed an aerobatic formation display when the accident occurred.
According to a statement issued by the team, they are devastated and are collaborating with Zimbabwean authorities regarding the incident.
“It is with great sadness and a profound sense of loss that today, the Marksmen aerobatic team can confirm that Mark Sampson, outstanding aviator, honored team member, trusted number-4, and loyal friend, perished in a flying incident in Harare, Zimbabwe,” read part of the statement.
A video of the accident has since circulated online. The plane is seen spinning several times and getting out of control when the pilot levels up and tries to make a climb. It crashed nose-first in front of horrified aviation enthusiasts who initially assumed it was all part of the show.
The unfortunate incident happened barely days after their splendid performance at Uhuru Gardens in Nairobi on Saturday last week during the Kenya Defence Forces in conjunction with the aero club of East Africa airshow.
Following last week’s presentation, the team issued a statement stating that they had a fabulous time in Kenya.
“We were treated to exceptional Kenyan hospitality. The Museum Airshow Festival was held at the Uhuru Gardens in Nairobi and we were fortunate to display with the highly skilled aviators from the Kenyan Airforce (KAF) as well as a number of other commercial operators including Kenya Airways.”
Featured image: Mark Sampson of the Marksmen Aerobatic Team.