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Pilot Who Entertained Kenyans During Uhuru Gardens Airshow Dies in Zimbabwe

A pilot who was among a crew that entertained Kenyans at the Uhuru Gardens in Nairobi during the Kenya Defence Forces airshow has died. 

According to the Marksmen aerobatic team, Mark Sampson died in an airshow at Charles Prince airfield in Harare, Zimbabwe while performing a solo air display. 

“It is with great sadness and profound sense of loss that today, the Marksmen aerobatic team can confirm that Mark Sampson, outstanding aviator, honoured team member, trusted number-4 and loyal friend died in a flying incident in Harare Zimbabwe,” the team said in a statement. 

Reports say the team of four specially trained pilots were participating in a sunsets aerobatics display when the unfortunate incident happened. 

“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,” Nation quoted a Zimbabwean media report. 

Mark Sampson PHOTO/COURTESY

The team said they are working closely with Zimbabwean authority. 

“The marksmen aerobatic team is devastated and we are currently working with Zimbabwean authorities,” the statement added.

During their airshow in Kenya, the team entertained Kenyans by doing sky spins, flying upside down, forming heart, loop and chandelier patterns and flying so close without the planes the coming into contact.

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“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,” the team said after the show. 

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