NTSB: Pilot, stuntwoman practiced before Ohio fall

Jul 4, 2013, 8:35 PM

DAYTON, Ohio (AP) – A wing walker and aerobatic pilot killed in a fiery crash at an Ohio air show practiced their performance the previous day and reported no mechanical problems with the plane, according to preliminary report released Thursday by federal investigators.

Thousands of horrified spectators witnessed the June 22 crash and explosion at the Vectren Air Show near Dayton. The plane was turned upside-down and positioned to cross in front of the crowd when the nose pitched slightly and the aircraft abruptly rolled and struck ground, according to the accident report from the National Transportation Safety Board.

The crash, captured on video and in photos by, left a debris field 145 feet long, according the report.

The preliminary report does not address the cause of the crash. The safety board is expected to take months to issue a final report.

The preliminary report was based on information including spectators’ videos and photos and initial statements collected by federal investigators. Those statements indicated no mechanical malfunctions were reported after the June 21 practice session by the pilot and the wing walker, the report said.

Some witnesses said they knew something was amiss because the plane was flying too low and slow.

Fairfield resident Thanh Tran said he saw a look of concern on the wing walker’s face just before the impact.

“She looked very scared,” he said. “Then the airplane crashed on the ground.”

Federal Aviation Administration records showed clean safety records for the 64-year-old pilot, Charlie Schwenker of Oakton, Va., and 44-year-old performer Jane Wicker, of Bristow, Va.

Wicker was the third wing walker to die in two years. She was a mother of two teenage boys and was recently engaged to a pilot whom she planned to marry atop a plane.

Schwenker’s wife of nine years described him as an exacting pilot who took no unmeasured risks.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

United States News

CORRECTS TO A LAKE FOREST POLICE OFFICER, INSTEAD OF LAKE COUNTY A Lake Forest, Ill., police office...
Associated Press

July 4 parade shooting leaves 6 dead, 30 hurt; man detained

HIGHLAND PARK, Ill. (AP) — A shooter fired on an Independence Day parade from a rooftop in suburban Chicago, spraying the crowd with gunshots initially mistaken for fireworks before hundreds of panicked revelers of all ages fled in terror. At least six people were killed and at least 30 wounded. An hourslong manhunt during which […]
6 hours ago
Exterior of the Packard Plant on Detroit's east side, Thursday, June 30, 2022. The factory built in...
Associated Press

Detroit targets old industry sites to improve neighborhoods

DETROIT (AP) — One of the first things 84-year-old Mahalie Wilson sees when she steps out of her home on Detroit’s east side is the brick, steel and concrete skeleton of the long-vacant Packard plant that looms over the neighborhood. Built in the early 1900s and still churning out high-end cars into the 1950s, the […]
6 hours ago
FILE - SAS planes are grounded at Oslo Gardermoen airport during pilots strikes, in Oslo, Friday, A...
Associated Press

Carrier SAS files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in US

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — Scandinavian Airlines on Tuesday filed for bankruptcy in the United States, warning a walkout by 1,000 pilots a day earlier had put the future of the carrier at risk. The move adds to the likelihood of travel chaos across Europe as the summer vacation period begins. The Stockholm-based group said it […]
6 hours ago
FILE - Protesters gather outside the Supreme Court in Washington, Friday, June 24, 2022. After the ...
Associated Press

Companies could face hurdles covering abortion travel costs

After the U.S. Supreme Court revoked the federal right to an abortion that’s been in place for half a century, companies like Amazon, Disney, Apple and JP Morgan pledged to cover travel costs for employees who live in states where the procedure is now illegal so they can terminate pregnancies. But the companies gave scant […]
6 hours ago
Staff members stand near American and Chinese flags at a booth for the U.S. Soybean Export Council ...
Associated Press

Chinese envoy expresses concern over US tariffs with Yellen

BEIJING (AP) — China’s envoy to trade war talks with Washington expressed concern about U.S. tariffs on Chinese imports during a phone call Tuesday with Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, the Ministry of Commerce announced, but it gave no indication of progress toward resolving an array of conflicts. Vice Premier Liu He and Yellen also discussed […]
1 day ago
A woman wearing a face mask walks past a bank's electronic board showing the Hong Kong share index ...
Associated Press

Global shares mixed as inflation, energy weigh on growth

TOKYO (AP) — Shares declined Tuesday in Europe after an upbeat session in Asia, while Wall Street futures slipped ahead of the reopening of U.S. markets from the Independence Day holiday. Benchmarks also fell in Paris, London, Frankfurt and Shanghai. But stocks gained in Tokyo, Seoul and Hong Kong. The war in Ukraine and its […]
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Christina O’Haver

BE FAST to spot a stroke

Every 40 seconds—that’s how often someone has a stroke in the United States. It’s the fifth leading cause of death among Americans, with someone dying of a stroke every 3.5 minutes.
...
Arizona Division of Problem Gambling

Arizona Division of Problem Gambling provides exclusion solution for young sports bettors

Sports betting in Arizona opened a new world to young adults, one where putting down money on games was as easy as sending a text message.
...
Carla Berg, MHS, Deputy Director, Public Health Services, Arizona Department of Health Services

ADHS mobile program brings COVID-19 vaccines and boosters to Arizonans

The Arizona Department of Health Services and partner agencies are providing even more widespread availability by making COVID-19 vaccines available in neighborhoods through trusted community partners.
NTSB: Pilot, stuntwoman practiced before Ohio fall