Skip to comments.Pilot, stunt walker killed in plane crash at Ohio air show
Posted on 06/22/2013 3:43:51 PM PDT by Doogle
DAYTON, Ohio A plane carrying a wing walker crashed at an air show and exploded into flames Saturday, killing the pilot and stunt walker instantly, authorities said.
The crash of the 450 HP Stearman happened at around 12:45 p.m. at the Vectren Air Show at Dayton International Airport. No spectators were hurt.
A video posted on WHIO-TV shows the 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.
Ian Hoyt, an aviation photographer and licensed pilot from Findlay, was at the show with his girlfriend. He told The Associated Press he was taking photos as the plane passed by and had just raised his camera to take another shot.
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Maybe, but it could also have been a broken control.
Some of these sports can be pretty daring. It raises philosophical questions of why man does what he does. Ultimately it traces to spirituality. Psychology can only tell us how, spirituality tells us why.
Looks to me like he was having trouble and tried to roll out of the inverted position but didnt have enough altitude.
Very sad .... RIP
I’m sure they had done this numerous times before. It seems that trouble would be met with more power at that point, we may never know.
The stunt is entertaining but allows no room for error. The pilot and his wing walker died doing what they loved to do. May they rest in peace.
damn shame... VERY pretty girl RIP
She had two sons too.
You can tempt fate all you like, but in the end everyone obeys the laws of physics. Perhaps someone can explain why a rational person would participate in such stunts. Truly brave people simply do not behave that way.
Turns out the her ex-husband was the pilot and she was enganged to “Rock” her mechanic. All theories aside, their children lost both parents.
Oh, how sad! A wing-walker whom we had seen perform here died a couple of years ago, after being burned when the plane’s engine caught fire. What an incredibly dangerous occupation!
As someone said below, we can only guess why people do this.
Couldn’t pay me to watch such an idiotic thing.
so sad,,, we were at this same airshow last year...
Just got back from an air show.
I must admit, some of the stunts are nuts.
The Dayton airshow is a goody.
RIP daring souls..
A stunt pilot in an air show over downtown Pittsburgh lost control of his biplane and plunged into the Ohio River as thousands of people watched today.
The pilot, Clarence Speal, was flying a loop when both wings on the left side of his plane folded back.
Mr. Speal's wife, Audrey, was announcing his stunts over a loudspeaker at the show when he crashed. Witnesses said she had abruptly stopped talking as he fell out of the sky and begun crying.
Nightfall forced rescue workers to call off the search. The Coast Guard and city River Rescue personnel plan to resume on the search on Monday with sonar to pinpoint the wreckage.
My kids had Clancy's signed pics in their bedrooms.
We were nearby when it happened. Heard the sound of the wings snap.
Was working in news and did the story.
When the wreck was pulled from the Ohio River there was a tarp over the cockpit. Even so some of us in the news were able to see it.
Not something you want to see. Amazing how fragile a human body is and how it is destroyed on impact with water.
There seemed to be a control problem as they never got completely inverted. It looks like when the pilot realized they would hit the crowd he rolled back the other way as to avoid a larger disaster. God bless them.
Stall with 125 lbs out on your wingtip .
Too slow, too low....
This one sucked. Glad Kyle isn’t wasting away
‘...Flying Circus Airshow in Bealeton, Va...”
I went there a couple years ago. Bet it was her doing the stunts.
This was the act we had seen. The poor young lady!
Amanda was a lovely young lady.
She sustained major back injury’s on impact but was still alive.
Kyle was ****ed up too.
I suspect the wings went up like gossamer and she was toasted.
Kyle was badly burned.
i feel awful... i shared this news with my nephew who was a US Army Golden Knight, and who has done many airshows... he knew Jane and her husband... it did not occur to me that he would know them personally... i said the wing walker was female... he said, “not Jane Wicker?” i told him the pilot was her ex-husband... the pain on his face was immediate...
How terrible. Just so sad and horrific.
My prayers to their families and their friends.
“She had two sons too.”
It’s a free country, but I gave up a few things when my kids were born, so that they were more likely to have a dad, at least until they grew up...
I understand. My dad gave up hunting because he wanted to be there for his kids and didn’t trust other hunters to not kill him by accident!!!
News flash. Idiot does stupid thing and dies.
I'm a wannabe, and I got too old before I followed through .. I'll hate myself forever, but GOD .. that looked like fun !
Exactly. God willing, there will be time to go back and do the risky activities that you enjoy (providing you don’t wait until you’re in your 40s or 50s to have kids).
Of course you want to be there for your kids as long as possible, but if you get them through college, they should be able survive without you. But then again, is bungee jumping, or BASE diving, all that important, when grandchildren may be coming into the picture soon?
I was at the show today.
What you cant see in the video is the plane was pointed right at the crowd before it dove into the ground. I remember seeing the round engine cowling as a circle, which means the plane was headed for the Pavilion area. I cant prove it, but it looked to me like the pilot dove it into the grass to avoid the crowd.
Correction: she usually performed with her ex-husband as the pilot but for the show here in Dayton he was not.
What do you get when you take any airplane and more than double the horsepower? For one thing you get much bigger grins every time you move the throttle forward for takeoff. The 450 Stearman, the so-called Super Stearman, is a classic case in point.
Originally born with a puny 220 hp, W-670 Continental radial in the nose, when the airplane is given a noseectomy and an R-985 Pratt and Whitney with 450 fire-breathing horses is grafted on, the airplane develops an entirely different personality. What had been a leisurely school marm intent on teaching a military cadet the very basics of aviating, becomes a belligerent show-off eager to demonstrate what it can do.
The 450 Stearman HAD to happen. Right after World War Two, there were literally thousands of both Stearmans and BT-13 Vultee trainers sitting around for bargain basement prices. The Stearmans were ideal for crop dusting, although underpowered, but the Vultees were not good for much of anything. The BT-13s did, however, have a 450 hp P & W and prop up front that were worth the entire price of the airplane (generally about $400). The conclusion was obvious, so ag-operators snatched many of the old BTs up, the engines were yanked off and the carcasses pushed off to the side and ignored. For years, cannibalized BT-13s littered grassroots airports nationwide.
The airshow guys were right on the heels of the dusters but they went the ag-operators one better: they wanted to improve the airplanes roll performance as well as its ability to climb, so an extra set of ailerons were installed on the top wings and slaved to the bottom ones. Now, the old airplane could not only leap off the ground and had a modicum of vertical performance, but it could actually roll with the best of them. Sort of, anyway.
The stodgy old school teacher had been turned into a rock n rollin circus performer.
From a pilots point of view, you have to have flown a stock Stearman to appreciate the dramatic improvements airshow types have made to the airplane. Flying aerobatics in a stock Stearman is a continuous, irritating cyclenose down, down, down, wait, wait, now pull. Do one maneuver, then climb, climb climb to replace the altitude lost.
Where an original 220 hp Stearman spends a lot more time diving to gain energy and then climbing for altitude than it does doing aerobatics, the 450 hp bird has almost all the energy it needs bolted to its nose. It needs only a gentle nod down before its ready to be pulled up into whatever maneuver the pilot desires.
The extra ailerons do wonders for the airplane in rolls. Not only are the forces lighter (a stock Stearman is a manly airplane), but the roll rate is such that, although its not a Pitts or Extra, it lets the acrobat do point rolls or anything else around the longitudinal axis with no danger of separating a rotator cup.
I would not be surprised to find out the pilot sacrificed himself and his passenger to save the people in the crowd.
I bet that picture didn’t leave your mind for a long while.
Pinging the list (as a FYI)..
She had a nice Federale job at the FAA which people would kill for. She had two sons. She had no reason to be out wing walking....probably an adrenaline junkie and loved the adulation
The wingwalker that fell a couple of years ago had kids, too. It’s appalling that a person with kids would take these kinds of chances. If you don’t give a crap about yourself, you should at least think about them.