Plane with wing walker crashes at Ohio show; 2 die
DAYTON, Ohio - The Associated Press
Flames erupt from a plane after a stunt plane crashed while performing with a wing walker at the Vectren Air Show, Saturday, June 22, 2013, in Dayton, Ohio. The crash killed the pilot and the wing walker instantly, authorities said. AP Photo/Thanh V TranA plane carrying a wing walker crashed Saturday at an air show in Ohio and exploded into flames, killing the pilot and stunt walker instantly, authorities said.
Dayton International Airport spokeswoman Linda Hughes and Ohio State Highway Patrol Lt. Anne Ralston confirmed the deaths to The Associated Press.
The crash happened at around 12:45 p.m. at the Vectren Air Show near Dayton. No spectators were injured.
The show has been canceled for the remainder of the day. The names of those killed weren't released immediately, but a video posted on WHIO-TV showing the flight and crash identified the performer as wing walker Jane Wicker. A schedule posted on the event's website also had Wicker scheduled to perform.
The video shows the plane turn upside-down as Wicker sits on top of the wing. The plane then tilts and crashes to the ground, exploding into flames as spectators scream.
"All of a sudden I heard screaming and looked up and there was a fireball," spectator Stan Thayer of Wilmington, Ohio, told WHIO.
Wicker's website says she responded to a classified ad from the Flying Circus Airshow in Bealteton, Virginia, in 1990, for a wing walking position, thinking it would be fun.
She told WDTN-TV in an interview this week that her signature move was hanging underneath the plane's wing by her feet and sitting on the bottom of the airplane while it's upside-down.
"I'm never nervous or scared because I know if I do everything as I usually do, everything's going to be just fine," she told the station.
In 2007, veteran stunt pilot Jim LeRoy was killed at the Dayton show when his biplane crashed and burned.
Organizers were presenting a trimmed-down show and expected smaller crowds at Dayton after the Air Force Thunderbirds and other military participants pulled out this year because of federal budget cuts.
The air show, one of the oldest in the U.S., usually draws around 70,000 people. Without military aircraft and support, the show expected attendance to be off 30 percent or more.