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Highway Patrol says pilot error caused the Dayton air crash
But its report is only the preliminary word; the National Transportatioin Safety Board is still investigating

In The Region:

According to the Ohio Highway Patrol, pilot error caused the fatal crash at the Vectren Dayton Air Show on June 22nd.

The accident killed the plane’s owner, 44-year-old Jane Wicker – who was performing a wing-walk -- and the pilot, 64-year-old Charlie Schwenker.

The preliminary report says slow speed and a lack of lift caused the plane to stall and crash before thousands of spectators. Lt. Anne Ralston says the Patrol’s report is based on eye-witness accounts, video, and measurements from the crash site.

LISTEN: Ralston on what caused the crash

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“Basically what the report does is simply document the scene. A field sketch is done. We document the pilot, any other persons who were occupants. In this case, the other person was the stunt person, the wing-walker who 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.”

But the Highway Patrol did not look at possible mechanical failure. Ralston says the findings will be turned over to the National Transportation Safety Board, which is conducting a more thorough investigation. That report could take up to a year before any findings are released.


Listener Comments:

was a witness to the crash,and want to say that when the pilot saw that he could not complete the loop, and saw that he would probably go into the crowd, at that time he turned the plane straight down in to the ground,thus taking his and jane's life, but possiblely saving many more lives. i feel that he is a hero, even tho he started theloop and failed to complete it. i was up front near fence, and saw it.and it will be with me for ever.

Posted by: lynn haag (caraway,ar.72419) on July 5, 2013 9:07AM
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