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Golden Knights no longer appearing at McConnell show

U.S. Army

Staff Sgt. Aliaksandr "Alex" Bahrytsevich, a member of the U.S. Army Parachute Team, the Golden Knights, was killed Saturday in a small plane crash in Swainsboro, Georgia. (U.S. Army Photo)

MCCONNELL AIR FORCE BASE, Kan. --

A member of the U.S. Army’s Golden Knights parachute team died Saturday in a small plane crash in Georgia.

Staff Sgt. Aliaksandr "Alex" Bahrytsevich, 31, was killed during an off-duty flight above Swainsboro, Georgia, when a Cessna 182A Skylane with five people on board crashed just after takeoff, said the Federal Aviation Administration. The crash remains under investigation.

"Alex was extremely passionate about the sport of skydiving, and always sought opportunities to coach and mentor other members of the team," the Golden Knights said. "Alex served the U.S. Army with pride and distinction."

The team was originally scheduled as the opening performance at McConnell’s 2018 Frontiers in Flight Open House and Air Show coming September 8 and 9, but the incident has led to the cancellation of their McConnell tour.

"When something like this happens in life, we have to take a pause, "said Maj. Ryan Frost, Frontiers in Flight air operations director. "While we are disappointed they will not be here for our show, we understand their need to be with Alex and his family at this time."

Team McConnell will take time to honor fallen Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines during Frontiers in Flight as a tribute the sacrifices service members make every day.

For any questions regarding the Frontiers in Flight Air Show, please contact the 22nd Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs office at (316) 759-3141 or 22.pa@us.af.mil.