FOX19 wing-walker remembers those who died in plane crash

DAYTON, OH (FOX19) - A plane carrying a wing walker crashed Saturday at an air show and exploded into flames, killing the pilot and stunt walker instantly, authorities said.

The pilot, Charlie Schwenker, and stunt walker, Jane Wicker, were killed in the crash. The plane flipped just as Wicker sat atop the wing and then went to the ground.

One of FOX19's own performed the very same harrowing feat as the two who died in Saturday's fatal crash.

Kris Nuss works in the FOX19 traffic department making up the station's daily programming logs. However, on Friday Nuss decided to try what few of us don't have the nerve to do.

Nuss flew with pilot Charlie Schwenker on Friday before the crash. She was a wing walker on the plane.

"The ride was interesting. They strapped me on top of the Stearman with a safety harness and while we were taxiing it was great fun and I thought how wonderful is this," explains Nuss. "I was waving to the crowd on Fifi and as soon as we took off it was an incredible experience, but the higher we got I thought I've made a terrible mistake."

Nuss says that the experience has taught her to embrace her fears.

"I didn't have any choice but to trust the pilot, Charlie, and he held my life in his hands and I felt confident the whole time."

Nuss was at the air show Saturday when pilot Charlie Schwenker and wing walker Jane Wicker lost their lives.

"We saw it through the canopy of the tents and we just heard that horrible noise and then boom." It was a sound Nuss will never forget. "I was crushed. They were wonderful people. In the short time that I met them I wished I could have been friends with them for the rest of my life, frankly, and they were such fun loving people. They lived their life to the fullest and Jane even said I'm doing what I love and I really wish more people would do that."

Even in the short time she knew Jane Wicker, Nuss says she became close to the veteran wing walker.

"The bond just came from her because she was such a gregarious, nice, fun loving person. She struck me as the type that never met a stranger."

From this tragedy, Nuss says she's learned a valuable life lesson.

"I encourage people do what you want to do," said Nuss. "Live your life with as much passion as you possibly can and don't wait until it's too late."

Nuss says Jane Wicker also told her that sanity is boring. Wicker lived her life and had fun doing it.

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