You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to SpringfieldNewsSun.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and interactive features. Starting at just 99c for 8 weeks.

X

Welcome to SpringfieldNewsSun.com

Your source for Clark and Champaign counties’ hometown news. All readers have free access to a limited number of stories every month.

If you are a News-Sun subscriber, please take a moment to login for unlimited access.

Wingwalker and pilot were veteran performers


She was engaged to be remarried, in charge of her own business, and performing her signature move.

Jane Wicker appeared to be on top of her game and world Saturday moments before she and pilot Charlie Schwenker were killed in a fiery crash witnessed by thousands at the Vectren Dayton Air Show.

Wicker, who had started wingwalking in 1990 by answering a classified advertisement in the Washington Post, left it for about a decade in 1999 after a marriage with her husband and business partner failed, according to her wingwalk.org website.

Her first aerobatic flight as a birthday present.

When she returned to the profession, “she wanted to take command, so she bought her own airplane,” said Bryan Regan whose Team Aeroshell was waiting to perform when the plane crashed.

“I had a lot of respect for her,” said Regan, who described her as “kind of a trailblazer.”

“She’s one of two wingwalkers I know of who bought their own airplanes and put together their own program,” Regan said.

Like Wicker, who was an FAA budget analyst, pilot Schwenker was a seasoned professional.

An aerobatic pilot since 1990, he won the Canadian National Aerobatic Championship and had extensive experience in the Stearman 450-HP biplane used in the act.

Both were connected with the Flying Circus, an aerobatics organization based in Bealton, Va., and Wicker was also an accomplished aerobatics pilot.

The romantic story of Wicker’s relationship with fiance Rock Skowbo began when they met just as she took possession of “Aurora,” the plane that was destroyed in the crash

A former United Airlines pilot, Skowbo also helped to take care of the aircraft, has been training as one of the show’s pilots. They planned to be married next year at an airshow.

In an interview on her website, Wicker mentioned her children.

“My children were raised at airshows and they have seen me wingwalking since they were born,” she said. “They have also been around during all the training, meticulous preflights, practices and shows. I have always tried to teach them that what we do is dangerous and it should never be done, like so many things in life, without proper instruction and training.”


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in News

Billy Ray Cyrus changes name, releases new version of ‘Achy Breaky Heart’
Billy Ray Cyrus changes name, releases new version of ‘Achy Breaky Heart’

Country singer and songwriter Billy Ray Cyrus is celebrating the 25th anniversary of his hit “Achy Breaky Heart” with three new versions of the song. Rolling Stone reported that Cyrus has recorded “Achy Breaky Heart 25th,” a version closer to the original demo. It was released Friday. The song will also reportedly get a...
Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg surprises Ohio family, drops in for dinner
Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg surprises Ohio family, drops in for dinner

Guess who’s coming to dinner? Mark Zuckerberg! In their wildest dreams, an Ohio family couldn’t imagine hosting dinner for one of the wealthiest people in the world, and talking about politics and an African charity they support with the Facebook founder and CEO, but that’s exactly what happened. Members of the Moore family...
I-75 shut down for crash, tanker fire in Dayton; Police suspect fatality
I-75 shut down for crash, tanker fire in Dayton; Police suspect fatality

The Ohio Department of Transportation has detours suggested to avoid the shutdown on Interstate 75 in Dayton. For northbound traffic, motorists can use Interstate 675 as a detour, then take Interstate 70 to get back on Interstate 75 in Vandalia. For those traveling south, motorists should take I-75 to I-70 East to I-675 South. It’s important...
Home Depot data leak compromises customers’ private info again
Home Depot data leak compromises customers’ private info again

A spread sheet listing about 8,000 customers, along with their transaction and a range of personal information, was posted for an unknown amount of time, on a Home Depot web site. No financial data was part of the list, which did not compare with the 2014 data breach in which hackers installed software that provided them with personal and financial...
Hip-hop music has fewer drug references than any other genre, but still dominates
Hip-hop music has fewer drug references than any other genre, but still dominates

Think Migos and other rap artists mention molly and marijuana the most in their songs? Think again, because hip-hop has the least number of drug references compared to any other musical genre, according to a recent study.  Using data from Songmeanings API, Addictions.com analyzed eight music categories to determine which style’s lyrics mentioned...
More Stories