Female wing walker and stunt pilot killed when plane crashes
A female wing walker and her stunt pilot were killed when their plane crashed into the ground and exploded into flames.
Jane Wicker was sitting on the wing of the biplane when it turned upside down and spiralled out of control in front of spectators at the Vectren Air Show in the US state of Ohio.
Video footage showed the 450 HP Stearman aircraft passing in front of the crowd before lurching violently and falling the short distance to the ground and instantly bursting into fire.
Authorities said the pilot - who has not been named - was also killed in the crash. The cause of the accident is not yet known. No spectators were injured.
Shawn Warwick, a spectator, told the Dayton Daily News that he watched the crash 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."
On her website, Ms Wicker's described herself as a trained pilot who started wing walking in 1990 after seeing a newspaper ad for a flying circus in Virginia. She said she was a full-time budget analyst at the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) and worked as an aerial acrobat in her spare time.
In an interview this week she told WDTN-TV, the local television channel, that her signature move was hanging underneath the plane's wing by her feet and sitting on the bottom of the aeroplane while it flew upside-down.
"I'm never nervous or scared because I know if I do everything as I usually do, everything's going to be just fine," she said.
Ms Wicker wrote on her website that she had never had any close calls while performing.
"What you see us do out there is after an enormous amount of practice and fine tuning, not to mention the aeroplane oes through microscopic care. It is a managed risk and that is what keeps us alive," she wrote.
Ms Wicker's website biography described Rock Skowbo, a pilot in her company, as her "right hand and other half".
In 2007, veteran stunt pilot, Jim LeRoy, was killed when his plane crashed and burned at the Vectren Dayton show.