A stunt plane carrying a wing walker crashed Saturday as she sat on top of the inverted plane during the Dayton Air Show, killing the performer and her pilot, officials said.
Terrence Slaybaugh, Dayton's director of aviation, confirmed to WHIO-TV that two people died in the crash.
The wing walker, reported by WHIO-TV, to be Jane Wicker, was walking on the stunt plane when it crashed. Witnesses at the show said that the plane exploded as it hit the ground.
No one on the ground was hurt.
According to the biography on Jane Wicker's website, she began her flying career after a scenic ride from a friend in 1988. Her wing walking is still today one of a kind. She not only hangs from the N strut, but also sits on the bottom of the airplane during the inverted pass. She is also one of just a few wing walkers in the world who transitions across the wings without benefit of a safety line.
"What you see us do out there is after an enormous amount of practice and fine tuning, not to mention the airplane goes through microscopic care. It is a managed risk and that is what keeps us alive." Wicker wrote on her website.
The show has been canceled for the remainder of the day, but organizers said events would resume Sunday.
The Ohio State Highway Patrol is investigating along with the Federal Aviation Administration, which was already on scene for the show.
"Right now there is no conclusive answer about why the accident happened," Slaybaugh said. He said the investigation could take months.
A video posted on WHIO-TV showing 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.
According to WHIO-TV, Shawn Warwick of New Knoxville said he was watching the plane 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."
Veteran stunt pilot Jim LeRoy was killed when his stunt plane crashed and burned at the 2007 Vectren Dayton Air Show.