During a performance at an air show near Erfurt, Germany on Monday, 49-year old airline pilot Martino Waller flew his 1950's-era Zlin 226 in a formation flight when something went horribly wrong and control of the airplane was lost.
Waller, who was also a flight instructor, was seen to swerve away from the formation just before the plane went down. Photographs appearing on the website of The Daily Mail in the UK how the Zlin exploding in a massive fireball as it impacted the ground just 600 feet from the closest spectators. Miraculously, nobody on the ground was injured. Speculation has it that Waller may have purposely tried to steer the plane away from the crowd to prevent loss of life.
Investigators are working to discover what caused the accident, but have been hampered by what little remains of Waller's airplane.