A stunt pilot who crashed his small plane and died at an air show in Kansas City was identified by his employer, Delta Air Lines, as Bryan D. Jensen of Lakeville.

Jensen, 50, was killed Saturday afternoon when "The Beast" biplane failed to pull out of a dive and crashed into a fiery ball on the grass next to a runway at Wheeler Downtown Airport.

Thousands of spectators at the Kansas City Aviation Expo Air Show fell into a hush after Jensen's plane hit the ground, and event organizers immediately shut down performances for the day.

"The Kansas City Air Show offers heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of Bryan Jensen, and the show is devastated by this terrible accident," the show said in a statement. "Aerobatic flying can be a dangerous thing as evidenced by today's accident."

Jensen graduated from the University of North Dakota's aviation school and began flying commercially at age 23, according to his website, www.beastairshows.com.

He was hired by Northwest in 1985 and shifted to Delta when NWA was taken over, said Delta spokesman Anthony Black.

He had logged 23,000 hours of flight time and had been flying aerobatics for 15 years, according to his online profile. He was a captain flying 747s for Delta, his website says.

Along with living in Lakeville, public records show that Jensen owned a home near Jacksonville, Fla., and had based Beast Airshows there.

Paul Walsh