Friends Remember the Two Killed in Air Show Crash - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Friends Remember the Two Killed in Air Show Crash

Posted: Updated:
Jana Leigh McWhorter was one of the participants at Sunday's air show who mourned the loss of two friends. Jana Leigh McWhorter was one of the participants at Sunday's air show who mourned the loss of two friends.

Friends in central Virginia are remembering a pilot and wing walker killed in a stunt plane crash in Ohio.

Pilot Charlie Schwenker kept his planes in Culpeper and performed with the Flying Circus in Bealeton.

Stuntwoman Jane Wicker started as a volunteer at the circus before taking her own show to the skies over Virginia and across the country.

This is a huge loss for Virginia's close-knit aviation community.

Sunday night, pilots and wing walkers at the Flying Circus are remembering their fellow flyers.

"They were doing what they really loved to do," John King, the Flying Circus president, said.

Charlie Schwenker and Jane Wicker died sharing their passion for aviation.

The pilot and wing walker were performing in the Vectren Air Show in Ohio Saturday when their plane tilted and crashed to the ground.

"It's a deep loss. All of us today are kinda - you have to look at it and know for the love of aviation they'd want us to go on," Chuck Tippett, a pilot and wing walker, said.

Back at home in Virginia, fellow flyers at the Bealeton Flying Circus were reeling from this shocking ending.

Wicker found her wings here.

In the 1970s, she responded to a wing walker ad in the Washington Post alongside dozens of others.

"When most of them realized it was getting out of an airplane and walking out on the wing, 99 percent of the people left but Jane was one of the few that stayed," King said.

Jana Leigh McWhorter says she was inspired by her fellow wing walker.

"We were all so proud of her in getting her own aircraft and deciding to do this traveling air show circuit and I knew that I was really proud of her actually. I'm amazed at the level she took it to and just very crushed that it ended this way," McWhorter said.

McWhorter spent years walking on the wings of Schwenker's Culpeper-based planes.

"Charlie was a teddy bear, just an amazing person, just always gave me hugs and kisses on my forehead, and just a very sweet gentleman," McWhorter said.

A picture from Schwenker's last air show here in Virginia shows his love of flying.

"You can tell he's smiling like crazy as he's waving everybody and just having a good time. That's the way we'll always remember him," King said.

Friends say they will always remember these two when they take to the skies.

"I'll dedicate my next wing walk to both Charlie and Jane," Tipppett said.

"I'll definitely think of those guys when I'm flying and I'm not going to forget them that's for sure," McWhorter said.

Right now the Bealeton Flying Circus is creating a museum. Flyers there say that's one way Schwenker and Wicker will be remembered.

  • Sign Up for Email Alerts

    Sign up to receive NBC29 news and weather updates in your inbox daily.

    * denotes required fields

    Thank you for signing up! You will receive a confirmation email shortly.
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and WVIR. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.