It appears Philadelphia Eagles fans are NOT responsible for hiring the pilot who was killed in a California plane crash on Sunday. According to Stephen McKenzie of 6ABC, the pilot hired by Eagles fans is alive and well.
McKenzie's report falls in line with what the Los Angeles Times reported on Sunday evening. Bold emphasis is mine:
"Enkone Goodlow, an artist who rents a hangar at the airport, said he and some spectators had watched the pilot repeatedly try to hook a Bud Light banner. The banner was tied to a mastpole on the ground and the pilot would fly by and try to snare it with a grappling hook dangling from the plane before pulling up.
"Usually, people get it the first time if not the second time, but it took [the pilot] seven times," Goodlow said. "We thought it was not normal. I wondered what was going on when after the seventh successful hook, all of a sudden, his plane nosed to the ground. We ran full blast toward it, thinking we could pull him out."
But they were too late. With the plane engulfed in flames, Goodlow said he jumped on an airport-based fire truck and headed to the crash scene."
To recap: the pilot hired by the Eagles fan is OK but he couldn't fly the banner over Cowboys practice due to the other pilot who was killed in the crash.
The confusion that Eagles fans were connected with the deceased pilot stemmed from tweets by the one fan who organized the banner event. That fan has since released a statement on Twitter:
While Eagles fans may have been cleared in connection to the crash, it's still obviously a very sad situation. Thoughts and prayers go out to the family.