News Ohio air show crash kills two

ky

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Im surprised this hasnt been posted here before, but its sad to hear anything like this happening.


A pilot and wing walker were both killed today when their plane crashed at a Dayton, Ohio, air show according to the Ohio State Police.
Video from the event appeared to show a wing walker sitting on the wing of her single-engine plane as it suddenly crashed into a grassy field at the Dayton International Airport.

Although the names of those killed have not been officially released, Jane Wicker, a wing walker, and her pilot Charlie Schwenker were the only wing walker team scheduled to perform at the Vectren Dayton Air Show, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.

The plane that crashed was licensed to Wicker, an FAA official told ABCNews.com.

A post on the Jane Wicker Airshows Facebook addressed the crash.

"It is with sad hearts that we announce that Jane Wicker and Charlie Schwenker were tragically killed while performing at the Vectren Dayton Airshow," read the post. "We ask for your prayers for the families and privacy of all involved and allow them time to grieve and work through these events."

The Vectren Dayton Air Show has been cancelled for the rest of the day, but will continue tomorrow.

According to her website, Wicker has been wing walking since 1990, when she answered an ad because she thought "it would be an exciting way to enter the air show business."

In addition to being a wing walker and pilot, according to her website, she is also a full-time budget analyst at the FAA.

A man who answered the number listed on Jane Wicker's website declined to comment.

The National Transportation Safety Board and the FAA are investigating the crash.

Source: http://abcnews.go.com/US/plane-crash-ohio-air-show-kills-pilot-wing/story?id=19464389#.UcgQddhm_To

WARNING: This video is bit graphic

http://youtu.be/zctCuE46VKM
 
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Ripley

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Sad news indeed.
Looks to me like a sudden gust of wind could be the cause.
 

Staiduk

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I wonder if the wing-walker's weight so far from the CoG had something to do with it? I doubt she weighed more than 100-110 pounds. I know they'd have practiced that routine thousands of times and my knowledge of aerodynamics is shaky at best but I wonder if her weight combined with near-stall conditions could have been the deciding factor? That Stearman certainly looked like it was labouring to bring the lower wing - the left one; on which she was riding - up from vertical. She was pretty much knife-edge when she went in; I'm forced to wonder how much weight a Stearman can effectively handle right at her wing struts.

Whatever; it's not important. Two brave people lost their lives putting on a show. It's a sad day.
 
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Ripley

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...I wonder if her weight combined with near-stall conditions could have been the deciding factor?...
I'm no pilot and no acro expert, but I humbly doubt that in an inverted low level flight you want to be at near-stall condition.
I'd go significantly faster, given the other already-on-the-edge variables involved.
 

Linguofreak

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I'm no pilot and no acro expert, but I humbly doubt that in an inverted low level flight you want to be at near-stall condition.
I'd go significantly faster, given the other already-on-the-edge variables involved.

Nonetheless, the wing dip leading to the crash looks consistent with a stall and incipient spin.
 

C3PO

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Nonetheless, the wing dip leading to the crash looks consistent with a stall and incipient spin.

I'm not an expert either, but to me it looked like a typical 'tip-stall' at our local RC club. Low speed and high AoA. The position of the wing walker might have aggravated the problem by disturbing the flow over the left aileron.
It looks like the ailerons become 'mushy' just before the final snap. If that's the case, an increase in aileron input can cause the outer part of the wing to stall. If the wing has built-in washout, the problem gets even worse during inverted flight.
 

Urwumpe

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Too me, it also looks like the plane was additionally much too low for that maneuver. He had barely a wing span left for reacting to problems - which was likely caused because the nose dropped too much while he banked, instead of ending in the proper attitude, forcing him to decrease the negative AOA, what is aerodynamically something extremely challenging.

I don't think he was too slow. I also see no indication of a bad wind gust.

The wing dropped when the aileron was stalled (turbulent air passing over it and making it unable to produce any force), not just the wing, the plane had still enough lift, since the plane started dropping with the change in bank. And the aileron stalled, when he decreased the AOA further and caused dynamic turbulence (the air does not instantly follow the wing, when you quickly change the AOA).

The wing walker simply caused the additional problems: More turbulence and more mass on one side of the wing.

The pilot was simply doing a correction, where he should have aborted.
 
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C3PO

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"Too slow" may be the wrong term. What I meant was that more speed makes the margins wider in case of trouble. But you have to fly slow to avoid sapping the strength of the wing walker.
 

Urwumpe

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"Too slow" may be the wrong term. What I meant was that more speed makes the margins wider in case of trouble. But you have to fly slow to avoid sapping the strength of the wing walker.

Yes, but he was still doing a good velocity for a biplane. But the biplane could also have caused some trouble there, since the lower wing can wash out in the turbulent air of the upper wing when flying inverted at low negative AOAs.
 

N_Molson

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Well, aerobatics is a dangerous occupation, they knew the risks. One day you win, one day you lose.
 

Urwumpe

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Well, aerobatics is a dangerous occupation, they knew the risks. One day you win, one day you lose.

No. That is what people should believe when they see it. In reality, it is like any stuntmans job: You take calculated risks, and use every chance for safety nets around you.

While it is still dangerous, a professional would already abort long before he has run out of options to save his life. Just compare how many people actually really die in such risky jobs. All together many more people die at normal safe jobs than at such risky jobs.
 

Cras

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A pilot knows it every time they sit in that seat that this could be it. You do what you can to make it as safe as possible, but at the end of the day it is still heavier than air flight.

As the old saying goes "Flying is the 2nd best feeling in the world, the 1st being landing."

A good pilot knows that even if all the precautions are taken, there is still a chance this will be that one flight where you don't experience that best feeling, yet you take to the sky anyway.
 

Artlav

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A good pilot knows that even if all the precautions are taken, there is still a chance this will be that one flight where you don't experience that best feeling, yet you take to the sky anyway.
Same can be said about driving a car.
Even with all precautions taken, there is still a chance that a dump truck would veer in your face from the opposite side of the road. Or the highway would bump up from the heat, becoming an instant trampoline.
Or a meteor would startle you for a critical moment.
I'm not even sure if a safety-conscious sport like stunt flying is more dangerous than an average road trip.


In any case, rest in peace Jane and Charlie. You choose to rather be ashes than dust.
 

boogabooga

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A man who answered the number listed on Jane Wicker's website declined to comment.

What good did the reporter possibly think would come from calling the number? The family typically makes a prepared statement after they themselves have been notified by proper authorities. :facepalm:
 

Keatah

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Airflow disruption + low speed + unbalanced wing.
 

Izack

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That was sickening to watch. The way her arms flew up as the plane descended. Just awful.
 
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