Two-time Red Bull Air Race Champion Mike Mangold has been killed in a warbird crash in the USA.
Mangold was in an L-39 Albatross that crashed on take-off from an airport in Apple Valley, California, yesterday afternoon. He was 60.
Witnesses to the crash said the jet banked just after take-off and crashed beside the runway. It was completely destroyed by fire, killing Mangold and another person yet to be identified.
Mangold joined the Red Bull Air Race Championship in 2004, and went on to win eight races, taking the World Championship in 2005 and again in 2007.
He raced in Perth 2006-08, finishing on the podium in third place in 2007.
He retired after the race went into sabbatical after 2010, but stayed on as coach of the new Challenger class. He was also a pilot and commentator at many airshows around the world including the jet racing at Warbirds over Wanaka in New Zealand.
Prior to joining RBAR, Mangold had a career as a fighter pilots with the US Air Force, flying F-4 Phantoms on intercept missions and F-4G Wild Weasel air-to-ground missions.
He also served time as the president of the Jet Class at the Reno Air Races.