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WDAY: The News Leader

Published August 21, 2011, 10:27 PM

UND Aviation Grad Killed in Plane Crash at Kansas Air Show

Kansas City, MO (WDAY TV) - A pilot killed in a crash at a Kansas City air show was a UND aviation graduate. Bryan Jensen was piloting a small plane at the time.

By: David Schwab, WDAY

A pilot killed in a crash at a Kansas City air show was a UND aviation graduate.

Bryan Jensen was piloting a small plane at the time.

Jensen had a passion for flying at a very young age. According to his website, at age 16, the Iowa native received his pilot's license before his driver license.

After attending UND, Jensen went on to fly commercial planes for Delta and has been flying aerobatics for 15 years.

All of that tragically came to an end Saturday when his plane did not recover from aerial flips at a Kansas City air show.

UND aviation officials responded to the news of the tragedy by issuing the following statement.

"Anytime an airman goes down, we lose a part of ourselves. Our hearts and prayers are with Bryan's family and his friends. He was a true pilot and he will be dearly missed."

On Sunday, pilots at the Kansas City air show decided to go on with the show. After a moment of silence, there was a fly-over for Jensen. Planes lined up in a missing man's formation.

"It's a tribute to a lost pilot. It's not something I would enjoy watching, but it's the right thing to do. It's a sad thing at the same time. I'm surprised they are still having it - I'm glad they are. It's pretty noble," air show visitor Ron Zimmer said.

Fans say watching the horrifying sight of Jensen's plane spinning, crashing and bursting into flames Saturday is something they will never forget.

Many returning Sunday were compelled to come out to honor Jensen and the other pilots flying.

Jensen had more than 23,000 hours of commercial flight time.

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