Four individuals have been identified as the victims of two separate crashes that occurred during the Experimental Aircraft Association’s AirVenture convention on Saturday. The first crash took place at 9 a.m. when a single-engine plane crashed into Lake Winnebago, resulting in the deaths of two people. The victims have been identified as 30-year-old Devyn Reiley from Guadalupe, Texas, and 20-year-old Zach Collie Moreno, whose hometown was not disclosed in the EAA’s news release.
Reiley, a trained pilot and co-founder of the Texas Warbird Museum, was known for her involvement in the Women’s Airforce Service Pilots program during World War II. She had participated in panel discussions at AirVenture.
Just three hours after the initial crash, a helicopter and gyrocopter collided midair at Wittman Regional Airport. Two individuals tragically lost their lives at the scene: 69-year-old Mark Peterson from Foley, Alabama, and 72-year-old Thomas Volz from Amelia, Ohio. Two other individuals were injured and hospitalized, but their condition was reported as stable by the EAA on Sunday. It is important to note that the helicopter and gyrocopter were not part of the afternoon air show that took place at 2:45 p.m.
Throughout the AirVenture convention, which began on Monday and concluded on Sunday, there were a total of five crashes in the region. No serious injuries were reported in any of these crashes prior to Saturday. The EAA has not provided further details regarding the causes of the crashes or any ongoing investigations.
The Experimental Aircraft Association’s AirVenture convention is an annual event that attracts aviation enthusiasts from around the world. It serves as a platform for showcasing various aircraft, hosting educational sessions, and providing networking opportunities for aviation professionals. However, the tragic accidents that occurred this year have cast a shadow over the event due to the inherent risks associated with aviation.