Information on the Incident at Selfridge Air Show

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  • 127th Wing
Released: Aug. 21

At approximately 1:30 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 20, 2011, during an acrobatic aircraft performance during the 2011 Selfridge Air Show and Open House, civilian performer Todd Green fell approximately 200 feet while attempting to transfer from a fixed wing aircraft to a helicopter. Mr. Green died as a result of the fall.

"The entire Selfridge family joins together in mourning the death of Mr. Green. Our hearts reach out to those who are impacted by this tragedy, including his family, friends and our many visitors who witnessed this tragic event," said Col. Michael Thomas, 127th Wing commander at Selfridge. "As Airmen, we understand the inherent risks associated with flight, but we aviators are a close-knit family, and when a tragedy like this occurs we all share in the loss."

Selfridge officials are working with the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Traffic Safety Board to investigate the accident.

Mr. Green was walking on the wing of a Stearman biplane flown by John Mohr and attempting to transfer to a helicopter flown by Roger Buis at the time of the incident. Mr. Green had successfully completed the maneuver during the air show on Saturday in similar weather conditions.

After Mr. Green fell, the initial emergency response was provided by the Selfridge Fire Department, 127th Security Forces, MedStar Ambulance and Michigan State Police.

Approximately one hour after Mr. Green fell, a limited flying schedule was resumed at the air show. All remaining acrobatic flying was cancelled for the day. After the incident, the following aircraft flew at the air show:

* An historic flight by two World War II-era military aircraft, a P-51 Mustang and an F4U Corsair.

* A flight by two U.S. Navy F/A-18 Super Hornet aircraft.

The decision to resume flying was made after consultation with the FAA, senior military leaders at the show and several of the air show performers.

Given the nature of the incident involving Mr. Green, the decision was made that there was no additional safety risk to the pilots or to those spectators who were visiting the air show.

The death of Mr. Green is the first flying incident at a Selfridge Air Show since 1994. Selfridge has been hosting air shows since shortly after the base opened in 1917. In recent decades, the show has been scheduled every-other summer. At this time, an air show is tentatively scheduled for 2013, though that schedule will be reviewed, as always, based on military mission requirements and the latest information on safety considerations.

On June 11, 1994, a privately-owned T-33 aircraft crashed on the base while performing during the 1994 Selfridge air show. The pilot of the aircraft, Ray Mabrey, a civilian, was killed in that incident.