August 23, 2010
By Alton K. Marsh
Spanish race pilot Alejandro (Alex) Maclean, one of the few elite pilots of the Red Bull Air Race, was killed while practicing near Madrid for an airshow. The Red Bull Air Race season ended Aug. 8.
His aircraft struck the ground while practicing in an aerobatic box (of airspace) at Casarrubios del Monte Airport in central Spain. The 41-year-old pilot, father of two children ages 7 and 11, was a favorite of many of the Red Bull Air Race fans. He also is survived by his wife, Emma. His crew thanked fans for their condolences on the pilot’s website. Another news source said practice sessions were common at the airport.
The pilot was called an ambassador for flying and was recently named as the 2010 recipient of the prestigious Paul Tissandier Diploma for his contribution to sporting aviation. Tissandier served as Secretary General of the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI) from 1919 to 1945. The award was established in 1952. American combat pilot and author Walter J. Boyne is among the recipients.
AOPA Pilot Senior Editor Alton Marsh has been a pilot since 1970 and has an airline transport pilot certificate and instrument and multiengine flight instructor certificates, aerobatic training, and a commercial seaplane certificate.
Pilots and aircraft owners have volunteered to transport hundreds of sea turtles rescued in Massachusetts to facilities equipped to care for them.
The FAA is working to automate a contingency plan developed on the fly when Chicago Center was taken out by arson from within Sept. 26.
AOPA has urged College Park, Maryland, to make approval of a hotel construction project near the city airport conditional on reducing the building’s height.
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