According to the Ohio State Highway Patrol - pilot error was the cause of a crash at the Vectren Dayton Air Show last month. Killed in the June 22nd accident were the plane’s owner, 44 year-old Jane Wicker – who was performing a wing walking stunt at the time - and the pilot 64 year-old Charlie Schwenker.
The report cites slow speed and a lack of lift, causing the plane to stall and then crash before thousands of spectators. Lt. Anne Ralston says the Patrol’s report is based on eye-witness accounts, video, and measurements taken at the crash site.
“Basically what the report does is simply document the scene. A field sketch is done. We document the pilot, any other persons that were occupants - In this case, the other person was the stunt person, the wingwalker that was on the aircraft at the time of the crash. We’ll document the date, time, location, the weather condition, basically anything we can gather as evidence at the crash scene,” says Ralston.
The Highway Patrol did not look at possible mechanical failures in their report. Ralston says they’ll turn their findings over to the National Transportation Safety Board which is conducting a more thorough investigation. That report could take up to a year to conduct before any findings are released.