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No expert but.....................the white smoke that came out first looked suspicially like coolant, reminded me of a Chieftain tank with blown liners! Mass coolant loss probaly lead to rapid engine overheat and subsequent blow!
Reading the article, he was trying to trim it level so he could get out, because when he took his hands off the controls the a/c pitched down "towards the desert".
Once that was sorted, his left leg then got stuck between the seat and the canopy railing.
You can clearly see this in the video.
There is no mention of taking any action to avoid the crowd apart from the word on the video link.
"Notice he turns the plane away from the crowd and points the plane at the ground before bailing out".
Going away from the crowd because he was still going round the circuit un aware and pointed towards the ground, because thats the way the a/c was trimmed for faster flight.
Still, if he didn't make it, the common 'saving the lives of thousands of people' version would have been a nice memory to leave!!
Truth and a good story and all that!