CINCINNATI – A plane carrying a wing walker crashed at an air show and exploded into flames Saturday, killing the pilot and stunt walker, authorities said.
The crash of the 450 HP Stearman happened around 12:45 p.m. at the Vectren Air Show near Dayton in front of thousands of horrified spectators. No one else was hurt.
A video posted on WHIO-TV shows the plane turn upside-down as the performer sits on top of the wing. The plane then tilts and crashes to the ground, erupting into flames as spectators scream.
Ian Hoyt, an aviation photographer and licensed pilot from Findlay, Ohio, was at the show with his girlfriend. He told the Associated Press he was taking photos as the plane passed by and had just raised his camera to take another shot.
“Then I realized they were too low and too slow. And before I knew it, they hit the ground,” he said.
He couldn’t tell exactly what happened, but it appeared that the plane stalled and didn’t have enough air speed, he said. He credited the pilot for steering clear of spectators and potentially saving lives.
“Had he drifted more, I don’t know what would have happened,” Hoyt said.