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.