Pilot’s family releases statement on Cameron AirShow crash

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CAMERON, Mo. – Family and friends of a local pilot are grieving after a tragic plane crash at a local airshow over the weekend.

On Saturday afternoon, 50-year-old veteran pilot Steve O'Berg was flying a plane at the Cameron AirShow, and performing various tricks. However while performing a dive with the small plane, he failed to pulled out of it and ended up crashing into a grove of trees.

LifeFlight arrived at the scene, but sources told FOX 4 that when O'Berg was pulled from the plane he was suffering from multiple injuries, including broken arms and legs as well as blunt force trauma to his chest and torso area, and soon after his heart stopped. EMS at the scene could not perform CPR in the helicopter, so O'Berg was taken by ground ambulance to a nearby hospital. Around 4 p.m. Saturday an employee of the airshow confirmed to FOX 4 that O'Berg had passed away.

Steve O'Berg & his Pitts S2-B bi-plane

Steve O'Berg & his Pitts S2-B bi-plane

On Sunday, O'Berg's family offered this statement to FOX 4:

"Steven Carl O'Berg, 50, was killed while piloting his Pitts S2-B bi-plane at the Cameron Airshow on Saturday, June 27. Steven was a husband, father, grandfather, son and brother and his loss is devastating to family and friends.   

Steve's passion was flying.  In fact, one of his earliest childhood memories was of flying with his father and brother when he was a very small boy, over 40 years ago.  Steve was a skilled pilot with more than 30 years of flying experience in both military and private aviation and flew both fixed and rotor wing aircraft.  Steve loved to share his passion for aviation, which is why performing at local airshows gave him great pride.

As you can imagine, this sudden loss is extremely difficult for our family to absorb.  While the FAA and NTSB are conducting their investigation, our family asks that members of the media respect our privacy as we grieve the loss of our beloved family member.  Please accept this statement as the only comment our family wishes to make at this time.  Thank you for your understanding in this most difficult matter."

The daytime portion of the airshow on was cancelled as a result of the crash; however the event resumed Saturday night, and went on as planned Sunday from noon to 4 p.m.

On Saturday, FOX 4 spoke with several witnesses who watched the tragic events unfold.

"Everybody was shocked. It's not something to expect to see at an air show. I've never seen that before. It's something I'll never forget," said witness John Durrett.

CLICK HERE to read more on this story, including reactions from witnesses who saw the crash.

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Previous coverage: (Warning: Video contains footage of crash)

Video of LifeFlight landing at crash site:

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