America

Federal Safety Officials To Investigate Ohio Air Show Crash

Wing walker Jane Wicker performs at the Vectren Air Show just before crashing on Saturday. She and pilot Charlie Schwenker were killed. i i

hide captionWing walker Jane Wicker performs at the Vectren Air Show just before crashing on Saturday. She and pilot Charlie Schwenker were killed.

Thanh V. Tran/Associated Press
Wing walker Jane Wicker performs at the Vectren Air Show just before crashing on Saturday. She and pilot Charlie Schwenker were killed.

Wing walker Jane Wicker performs at the Vectren Air Show just before crashing on Saturday. She and pilot Charlie Schwenker were killed.

Thanh V. Tran/Associated Press

Federal air safety officials say they will investigate the fiery crash of a stunt plane at an Ohio air show that killed the pilot and a wing walker.

Thousands of spectators at the Vectren Air Show near Dayton, Ohio, watched on Saturday as the biplane, with wing walker Jane Law Wicker, 46, and pilot Charlie Schwenker, 64, careened into the ground and exploded during a low-altitude maneuver. No one in the audience was hurt.

The rest of the show was canceled on Saturday, but was expected to resume Sunday.

The Associated Press reports:

"It wasn't clear Saturday what went so wrong. The biplane glided through the sky, rolled over, then crashed and exploded into flames ... A video posted on WHIO-TV shows the small plane turn upside-down as the performer sits on top of the wing. The plane then tilts and crashes to the ground, erupting into flames as spectators screamed."

The National Transportation Safety Board said it would investigate the crash of the 450 HP Stearmans biplane. The Dayton Daily News quotes Terrence Slaybaugh, the director of aviation for the city of Dayton, as saying the investigation could take months.

"Obviously, this is a tragedy for what's a very small community and our thoughts and prayers go out to those two individuals and their families," Slaybaugh told reporters. "Right now, there's no conclusive answer about why the accident happened."

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.

Support comes from: