The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Nation & World

June 22, 2013

Plane with wing walker crashes at Ohio show; two die

DAYTON, Ohio — A plane carrying a wing walker crashed Saturday at an air show 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 immediately released, 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.

Another spectator, Shawn Warwick of New Knoxville, told the Dayton Daily News that he was watching the flight through binoculars.

"I noticed it was upside-down really close to the ground. She was sitting on the bottom of the plane," he said. "I saw it just go right into the ground and explode."

Wicker's website says she responded to a classified ad from the Flying Circus Airshow in Bealeton, Va., in 1990, for a wing-walking position, thinking it would be fun. Her full-time job was as a budget analyst for the Federal Aviation Administration, according to her website.

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.

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