Stunt flyer Robert Kennedy plunged to his death in Washington on Monday (May 29) after soaring to a height of 500 feet flying a delta wing kite.
GV Crowd (2 shots)
GV Kite man being towed off around, stalls and hits ground
GV Kite man taking off and crashing in slow motion.
Initials BB/0000 TH/AS/BB/2340
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Background: Stunt flyer Robert Kennedy plunged to his death in Washington on Monday (May 29) after soaring to a height of 500 feet flying a delta wing kite.
A huge holiday crowd of 100,000 people gasped as Kennedy's kite, towed aloft by a car, turned over and crashed to the ground.
But one of the crowd, an amateur cameraman, filmed the tragedy from beginning to end. We apologise for the poor quality of the 8mm film.
The accident happened at the 10-day Transpo 72, an airshow sponsored by the United States government.
SYNOPSIS: In Washington, a crowd of a hundred-thousand people gathered for the major Transpo Seventy-Two airshow on Monday. One of the attractions was the delta-wing kite flown by Californian Robert kennedy and towed aloft by a car. After soaring up to about five-hundred feet, the kite suddenly went out of control and Kennedy plunged to the ground. Kennedy, aged twenty-six, died within minutes of hitting the ground. The accident was filmed by an amateur cameraman at the government-organised air show.
Here's the whole tragic stunt again in slow motion. Kennedy was performing as a member of the team of Bill Bennett, an Australian known as The Birdman. Just before starting the flight in Washington, Kennedy told an interviewer that piloting a kite was as easy as riding a bicycle. But the dangers of this kind of stunt flying were emphasised by a second fatal accident on the same day. This caused the death of another American flyer, performing in France. He plunged into a parking lot after the towing cable attached to his kite snapped. Only a week before, the two men had been competing against each other in national delta-wing kite championships in Florida.